Concealed Weapons Lawyer in Naples, Florida
Defend Your Concealed Weapons Case in Court with the Aid of Musca Law Firm
If you are facing criminal charges for carrying an unlicensed concealed firearm in the State of Florida, an experienced criminal defense lawyer from Musca Law can easily provide the aid you are seeking. Overall, carrying a concealed weapon without a valid license is regarded as a serious crime in the state. In the end, the court can charge offenders with a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a 5-year prison sentence and a possible fine of $5,000.
However, under special circumstances, certain people can legally carry concealed firearms (such as police officers and other members of law enforcement). Anyone who is registered to carry a firearm on his/her person may carry this weapon on their body. In addition, the aforementioned punishments do not apply to people who carry self-defense devices like pepper spray or stun guns.
Do you need assistance for representing your rights in courts? If you have been charged with a concealed weapons crime and need immediate legal assistance, contact our office in Naples, Florida at (239) 793-5297 to speak with an experienced attorney from Musca Law.
Carrying Concealed Firearms in Naples, Florida
As dictated by Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.001, a “firearm” is a weapon that has been developed to expel a projectile by means of an explosive force. Devices included in this category include guns with silencers, or destructive devices like bombs or knives.
Furthermore, this same Statute designates a concealed firearm as any kind of firearm a person carries on his/her person in a manner that conceals this weapon from the sight of another person. Some of the most common places to carry a concealed firearm include:
- The pocket of shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, or additional items of clothing.
- A belt holster that is hidden underneath a jacket or coat.
- A space between a belt and undergarment (typically hidden under additional layers).
- Another type of holster that is easily concealed from other people’s viewpoints.
- Bags or purses carried by the owner.
Take note that, under Florida Law, machine guns are not categorized as concealed weapons or firearms.
What Is Your Eligibility for Obtaining a Concealed-Carry License in Naples?
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.06 (1) states that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will only allow the following individuals to obtain a conceal-carry license in the State of Florida:
- Citizens of the United States.
- Permanent resident aliens of the United States (as outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services).
- U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years of age.
- People who are not suffering from any apparent physical injuries or impairments that would inhibit the safe use of these weapons.
- Individuals who are not eligible for being charged with a felony crime (highlighted in s. 790.23).
- People who have never been charged with offenses related to controlled substances.
- People who do not frequently drink alcohol or use legal drugs that could impair reaction time.
- Individuals who are seeking to use firearms for the purpose of self-defense.
What Steps Should I Follow to Obtain a Concealed Firearm License?
Under Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.06, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) provides a list of eligibility requirements for concealed firearm licenses and an application packet for the convenience of interested parties. Prior to your endeavor to obtain a conceal-carry license, review Florida Statutes XLVI Chapter 790.06 and 7909.25 to familiarize yourself with the list of requirements (pay special attention to subsection 9).
As dictated by this same code, you must also supply the following information as part of the application process in the State of Florida:
- Proof of citizenship and residency requirements.
- Information regarding previous convictions for offenses (review Chapter 790.06, Section E for details regarding crimes that could prevent the issuing of a conceal-carry license).
- Complete the concealed firearms license application. You can fill out this paperwork at a designated site or submit a finished copy by mail. Please visit the FDACS website to review the free packet.
- Submit a fingerprint test or photocopy of a receipt for a fingerprint scan to the Division of Licensing.
- Submit a recently-taken photograph to officials.
- For military veterans and current members only: Provide papers or licenses. FDACS is currently expediting licenses for men and women in these ranks.
Be ready to pay a $97 fee in total for these transactions. While the concealed firearm license costs $55, the fingerprint scan will constitute an additional $42.
To review the progress of your license application, you may review a tracking portal on the FDACS site.
How Long Does a Conceal-Carry License Last in Florida?
Under Florida State Law, an official license for carrying a concealed firearm (as issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer services) will remain valid for a span of no longer than 7 years following the issue date. During this time, licensees must carry this license on their person while they are carrying the firearm in question and must be prepared to show this document (as well as a valid photo ID) to a member of law enforcement at any given time.
Any license holder who violates these instructions (as laid out in Statute 790.06) will be ordered to pay a fine of $25 to the clerk of court.
Programs for Earning a Concealed Firearms License
As dictated by Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.06, to obtain a legal conceal-carry license, citizens who meet all steps of eligibility (please review the previous sections) must also prove their capacity to handle these weapons by completing one or more of the following programs:
- Hunter/hunter safety course approved and granted by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (or agencies that are associated with similar U.S. foundations).
- Firearms safety/training course approved by the National Rifle Association or offered by local organizations including law enforcement agencies, colleges, groups supported by law enforcement, or firearms training schools.
- Firearms safety/training course offered by subdivisions of local law enforcement agencies.
Under the same statute, some people may be eligible in the event that they have completed the following programs or have had similar experiences:
- Recent experience with carrying and operating firearms due to military service.
- Recent experience with carrying and operating firearms as a result of organized shooting competitions.
- Safety training at a program hosted by a firearms instructor who is officially certified by the National Rifle Association.
- Current carrier of a conceal-carry firearm license issued by a Florida county or municipality.
Can Some Florida Residents Carry Concealed Firearms without a License?
As dictated by Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.25, certain people can legally carry, own, and use firearms without possessing a concealed-carry license in the State of Florida. These people include:
- Men and women who serve in the armed forces of the National Guard and Florida State Defense Force.
- Members of US Armed Forces organizations, such as the army, navy, air force, and marines.
- People who are training for military duty or are currently on duty (indicated by subsection 2, Article X of the Florida State Constitution).
- People who are undertaking emergency management training (Chapter 252).
- Law enforcement and peace officers (including their assistants and deputies). These individuals may also include forest officials, revenue officers, and Florida Highway Patrol officers.
- Officers who are authorized to carry concealed firearms as part of their jobs.
- Guards for express, armored car, and common carriers and guards who work for banks and financial institutions in the state.
- Members of legal weapons clubs or manufacturers.
- People using these firearms in safe places (outside law) or at shooting ranges (indoor and outdoor).
- People carrying wrapped weapons for cleaning/repairs.
- People who have firearms at their business (under special laws).
- Florida private investigators.
Punishment for Carrying Unlicensed Concealed Firearms
Under Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.01(2), any person who carries a concealed firearm and has not been issued a legal license (Chapter 790.06) will be charged with a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a 5-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.
However, keep in mind that people who take part in mandatory evacuations will not be charged with this crime if they carried this weapon in the first 48 hours following the alert.
Proof of a Valid Conceal-Carry Case in Florida Courts
In keeping with Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.01, people who do not carry a license for concealed-carry and possess an illegal concealed firearm will be charged with a felony. Based on instructions laid out in Case 10.01 for a criminal jury, members of the court must prove that:
- The defendant had been intentionally and willingly carrying a firearm on their person.
- The firearm in question was concealed from view (of other people).
- The defendant had not obtained a legal conceal-carry license to carry this firearm.
Remember that individuals who carry a concealed firearm in the 48-hour period following a mandatory evacuation cannot be charged with these crimes.
Outlining the Terms of Case 10.01 for Illegal Concealed Weapons Possession
As part of Case 10.01, here is a closer look at the terms laid out for criminal jurors in a conceal-carry case:
- “Deadly weapon” refers to a weapon that can inflict damage (bodily harm) on victims.
- “Firearm” refers to weapons that expel projectiles (bullets, in this case).
- “On or about his/her person” refers to keeping a firearm in an easily accessible spot (on or around the defendant’s body)
- “Ordinary sight of another person” refers to a weapon being in the sight of another person, who saw the defendant carrying the firearm.
Understand that antique firearms are not classified as deadly weapons, in this case.
Establishing a Defense in a Conceal-Carry Case in Florida
Here is a closer look at viable defense strategies for cases involving the possession of an illegal conceal-carry firearms in the State of Florida:
- A valid conceal-carry license issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FS Chapter 790.06). (Remember that the state government has granted FDACS the right and authority to issue these licenses.)
- Carrying non-lethal weapons for self-defense (i.e. pepper spray, dart-firing/regular stun guns, and additional electric or chemical devices).
Recall that, as dictated by Florida Statute Chapter 790.06 §790.001(9), young men and women who are under 21 years of age and individuals who have been convicted for previous felonies do not meet the qualifications for Florida concealed-carry licenses.
Also, keep in mind that individuals who took part in an evacuation issued by the Florida Governor under FS 870 Section 252 will also have an opportunity to defend their case in court.
Reaching a Verdict for a Conceal-Carry Case in Florida Court
If the defense cannot provide evidence of taking part in a mandatory 48-hour evacuation (issued by the Governor of Florida under Chapter 252), the jury may find the offender guilty if there is no doubt towards the events surrounding the charges for illegal possession of a conceal-carry weapon.
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.01(3)(b) dictates that defendants who meet the burden of production (due to affirmative offense) will be disproved by the State Government without reasonable doubt. (An example would be self-defense versus burglary.)
Resources for Cases Involving the Possession of an Unlicensed Concealed-Carry Weapon in the State of Florida
Florida Statutes for Concealed-Carry Weapons
- Florida Statutes Chapter 790 – Read over the official guidelines for weapons and firearms licenses.
- Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.01 – Review the charges for carrying unlicensed concealed-carry firearms.
- Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.06 – Conceal-carry license specifications
Florida Standard Jury Instructions for Criminal Jury (10.1) – Rulings for cases involving unlicensed concealed weapons.
Seeking a Skilled Concealed Weapons Lawyer in Naples, Florida
In the event that you have been convicted of carrying a concealed firearm without a legal license, you will require the assistance of an experienced lawyer. This lawyer will be able to thoroughly review your particular charges to determine a course of action that will best serve your interests. Even when you are arrested for a serious crime, you have rights, which protect you from wrongful conviction. It is the duty of your lawyer to represent you to the fullest extent. We are proud to offer a free initial consultation to all new clients, in order to determine how our legal services would best support your needs. Don’t hesitate to contact our Naples office today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.