Concealed Weapon Lawyers in Sarasota, Florida
Get Defense for Your Concealed Weapon Case with Musca Law
Are you facing criminal charges for carrying an unlicensed firearm (or another type of weapon) in the state of Florida? If you are potentially suffering from these charges, we at Musca Law can provide the strong arsenal of defenses that you need. We understand that carrying unlicensed firearms is a serious crime in Florida, and court officials can charge you with a 3rd-degree felony, which can result in a 5-year prison term and a potential $5,000 fine.
Also, keep in mind that some people (due to special requirements) can legally carry concealed firearms. (These people typically include police officers and other members of Florida law enforcement.) Any person who is registered to carry concealed firearms on his/her person can carry this weapon in appropriate spots on their bodies. Also, people who carry stun guns or pepper spray will not be charged for carrying unlicensed weapons, given their weapons are used only for self-defense.
If you have been charged with a concealed weapons crime and are seeking immediate legal assistance, do not wait any longer. Get in touch with our office in Sarasota, Florida at (941) 909-3234 to speak with an experienced attorney from Musca Law today!
Important Facts for Carrying Concealed Firearms in Sarasota, Florida
By the definition outlined in Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.001, a firearm is a weapon that is designed to expel projectiles via an explosive, combustible force. Devices in this category include handguns, guns with silencers, or destructive devices (e.g. bombs, knives).
Likewise, Chapter 790.001 defines a concealed firearm as any sort of firearm a person can carry on his/her person in a way that conceals these weapons from the sight of onlookers. Some common places to carry a concealed firearm include but are not limited to:
- Pockets of shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, or additional pieces of clothing.
- Belt holsters hidden underneath a jacket or coat.
- Spaces between a belt and undergarment (usually hidden under additional layers).
- Another type of holster that is easily concealed from other people’s viewpoints.
- An owner’s bag or purse.
Remember that Florida Law does not classify machine guns as concealed weapons or firearms.
Am I Eligible to Carry a Concealed Firearm in Sarasota?
As dictated in Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.06(1), the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services only grants a concealed-carry license (approved by Florida State Law) to the following people:
- Citizens of the United States.
- Permanent resident aliens living in 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 Information Do I Have to Submit to Obtain a Concealed-Carry License?
While detailed, the process of achieving a concealed-carry license is relatively simple. Under Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.06, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has issued a list of eligibility requirements for the approval of concealed-carry licenses and offers an application packet for your convenience. Prior to obtaining a license, you must first review Florida Statutes Chapter 790.06 and 7907.25 (specifically subsection 9) to understand this list.
As presented in Chapter 790.06, you must also supply the following pieces of information to complete the application process for a concealed-carry license in 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 concealed-carry license).
- (For military veterans and current members) Provide papers or licenses. FDACS is currently expediting licenses for men and women in these ranks.
- 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.
Subsequently, you must be prepared to pay a $97 fee in total for these transactions. Overall, the concealed firearm license costs $55, while the fingerprint scan will constitute $42.
You may review a tracking portal on the FDACS site to review the progress of your license application.
How Long Will My License Last?
In answer to this next inquiry, an official license for carrying a concealed firearm (issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) will be valid for no longer than 7 years in the State of Florida, following the issue date. Within this time frame, carriers of the license must be prepared to carry this license on their person whenever they are carrying a concealed firearm. Most importantly, though, they must be ready to show this license and a valid photo ID to police officers at any time.
Any license holder who willingly violates these instructions (as laid out in Statute 790.06) will be ordered to pay a $25 fine to the clerk of court.
Programs That Help You Earn a Concealed Firearm License
To obtain a legal concealed-carry license, residents of Florida who meet all eligibility requirements (please review the previous sections) must also prove that they are fully capable of handling these weapons by completing one or more of the following courses (as outlined in FS Chapter 790.06):
- Hunter/hunter safety course accepted and granted by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (or agencies that are associated with similar U.S. foundations)
- Firearms safety/training course accepted 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.
Chapter 790.06 also dictates that some people may be eligible if they have completed the following programs or have previous experience with firearms for professional avenues:
- 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 concealed-carry firearm license issued by a Florida county or municipality
Who Can Carry Concealed Weapons without Licenses?
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.25 lists the following categories of people who (by Florida State Law) can carry firearms without carrying a concealed-carry license on their person:
- Men and women who serve in the armed forces of the National Guard and Florida State Defense Force.
- Members of United States Armed Forces organizations like 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 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.
Charges for Illegal Concealed-Carry Activity in Florida
As outlined in Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.01 (2), a person who carries a concealed firearm and does not have a legal license (see Chapter 790.06) will face charges of a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a 5-year prison sentence. Furthermore, culprits may be ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.
Nevertheless, one loophole does exist in this code. 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 an alert issued by the Governor of Florida.
Reaching a Verdict on Concealed-Carry Cases in Florida
According to Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.01, people who do not carry a license for concealed-carry firearms and hold an illegally concealed firearm will face charges of a full-scale felony. As dictated in Case 10.01 for a Florida Criminal Jury, members of the court must prove that:
- The defendant had been intentionally and willingly carrying a firearm on his/her person.
- The firearm in question was hidden from view (of other people).
- The defendant had not obtained a legal concealed-carry license to carry this firearm.
People who carry a concealed firearm in the 48-hour period following a mandatory evacuation cannot be charged with these crimes, as ordered by Florida Law.
Case 10.01: Understanding the Terms of Concealed Weapons Possession
As part of Case 10.01, here is a closer look at the terms laid out for criminal jurors in a concealed-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.
Keep in mind that, by Florida Law, antique firearms are not classified as deadly weapons.
Setting up a Defense for a Concealed Weapons Case in Sarasota
Please review these details for building a viable defense in a concealed weapons criminal case in the State of Florida:
- A valid concealed-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 (pepper spray, dart-firing/regular stun guns, and additional electric or chemical devices)
As dictated by Florida Statute Chapter 790.06 §790.001(9), men and women who are under 21 years of age and people who have previously committed felony crimes do not meet the qualifications for Florida concealed-carry licenses.
Remember 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.
More Details about Verdicts for concealed-Carry Cases in Florida
If members of the defense produce evidence that the defendant did not participate in a mandatory 48-hour evacuation (initiated by the Governor of Florida in Chapter 252), members of the jury may find the offender guilty if the court can prove (without a doubt) the events surrounding the charges for illegal possession of a concealed-carry weapon.
As dictated by Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 790.01(3)(b), defendants who qualify for the burden of production (due to affirmative offense) will be negated by the State Government without any doubt. (An example would be self-defense versus burglary.)
RESOURCES: 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 – concealed-carry license specifications
Florida Standard Jury Instructions for Criminal Jury (10.1) – Rulings for cases involving unlicensed concealed weapons.
Team up with a Member of Musca Law in Sarasota, Florida
If you have been convicted of illegally carrying a concealed firearm, you will need the assistance of an experienced lawyer, who will review your particular charges to determine a course of action. When you are arrested for a serious crime, you must take immediate action. Don’t hesitate to contact our Sarasota office today at (941) 909-3234 to schedule an initial case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.