Florida does not require a state permit to possess or purchase a shotgun, according to the National Rifle Association. However, while it is generally not illegal to own or buy a shotgun, specific laws do apply to these weapons in Florida. These laws are always subject to change, so make sure you know what the current laws allow before attempting to purchase or use a shotgun in Florida.
While the general public can own and purchase a firearm, Florida prohibits convicted felons from possessing, using or controlling any firearm, including shotguns, unless the felon's civil rights have been restored, according to the National Rifle Association. Further, no drug addict, alcoholic, mental incompetent or vagrant may own, possess or use a shotgun in Florida.
Sawed-off shotguns, also known as short-barrel shotguns, are illegal in Florida. Florida Statutes section 790.221 states that no one can possess such a weapon unless it is an antique firearm or is otherwise allowed under federal law. People violating this law commit a second degree felony offense.
Florida also limits the kind of ammunition that can be used in a shotgun. Florida Statutes section 790.31 states that dragon breath shell, bolo shells and flechette shells are prohibited. Dragon breath shells are any shotgun ammunition that contains exothermic pyrophoric misch metal designed to burst into flame, bolo shells are those that have two or more metal balls attached to one another with connecting wires and flechette shells are those that expel fin-stabilized metal wire or dart-type projectiles. Violation of this law is a second degree felony.