Florida Gun Laws for Felons

By Keith Evans
Most Florida felons, guns
gun3 image by SKYDIVECOP from Fotolia.com

Although the state of Florida generally allows its citizens to own, possess and carry guns with very few restrictions, the state takes a far stricter stance toward convicted felons. In the Sunshine State, individuals who have received a felony conviction must follow gun rules considerably different from those that govern other citizens.

No Guns Allowed

While Florida’s gun regulations are generally more liberal than those those found in other states, it virtually outlaws any form of gun ownership by convicted felons. According to the 2009 Florida Statutes, any person convicted of a felony in Florida courts, or sentenced to at least one year of punishment for a felony offense in another state, may not own or possess a firearm of any kind. In addition, the statutes prohibit convicted felons from owning or possessing any type of ammunition, even in the absence of a firearm capable of firing that ammunition. In addition, Florida statutes prohibit convicted felons from owning or possessing any type of electric or chemical weapon.

Civil Rights Restoration

Felons who have had their civil rights restored may also have their gun rights reinstated, according to Section Two of the 2009 Florida Statute governing gun possession by convicted felons. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, an organization that promotes rights for convicted felons, notes that Florida citizens who have served their entire sentences and successfully completed any restitution payments may apply to have their civil rights restored. According to the organization, felons who meet these criteria and have not had an automatic restoration of rights should complete an online or paper application and forward it to the state Executive Office of Clemency. If the office approves the request, the felon will regain the right to own—and, in some cases, carry—a firearm.

Concealed Carry

A felon who has received restoration of civil rights in the state of Florida may apply for a permit to carry a concealed firearm. According to the official website of Mike Scott, sheriff of Lee County, Florida citizens who meet some basic qualifications may apply for a permit to carry a concealed gun. The Florida Division of Licensing expounds on these qualifications by noting that convicted felons who have had their civil and firearm rights restored by the convicting authority may receive permits for concealed carry.

No Registration Required

Though the state of Florida requires convicted felons to successfully complete any sentences and pay any required restitution to regain civil rights, the state does not require these individuals to register their guns. According to the website of Sheriff Mike Scott of Fort Meyers, the state of Florida does not require firearm registration for any citizen, regardless of criminal status.