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Possession of a state-issued permit allows you to carry a concealed handgun.
Handguns, per state law, include revolvers, pistols or other weapons "loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged." The gun's barrel cannot extend beyond 12 inches, and machine guns fail to qualify under this definition.
Permits remain valid for five years from date of issue and qualify for renewal after that time.
To get a permit from your county sheriff, you must be: at least 21 years old; a legal state resident; not addicted or misusing alcohol and drugs; without perjury convictions related to information given on permit applications; and you must be federally eligible to carry a weapon and have experience or training in use of firearms. (Ref. #4)
The concealed-carry law does not override federal laws prohibiting their presence in certain facilities nor regulations against their allowance in public schools. You're exempt from the law if you work as an armed school security guard, if the gun remains in a locked car compartment while you visit the school, or the gun's use on school grounds designated for hunting or shooting activities.
For citizens that do not have a concealed weapons permit, it is against the law to carry a concealed handgun outside the home. Florida statute 790.01 states that anyone found to be carrying a concealed firearm will be charged with a third-degree felony. Concealed weapons of any kind are also unlawful, and those found to be possessing such weapons (which do not include nonlethal stun guns or chemical sprays) will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
Concealed Weapons License
Concealed weapons licenses may be issued to persons over the age of 21, according to Florida statute 790.06. These licenses are issued by the Department of Agriculture, and are valid for a period of seven years. Potential applicants must be residents of the United States and free of any infirmity that would hinder them from the safe use of a firearm. Those with a felony background are not eligible for a concealed weapons permit.
Obtaining a Permit
Provided the applicant meets the minimum requirements for obtaining a concealed weapons permit, he must demonstrate proficiency with a firearm by completing one of several possible tasks. A hunter education or safety course is one permissible demonstration; completion of a National Rifle Association training course is another. Other means include taking a firearms safety and education course given to the public by law enforcement, the presenting of evidence of long-time use and knowledge of firearms (such as participation in gun clubs), or having a license from another eligible state.
Even with a permit to conceal and carry a firearm in the state of Florida, there are certain places where it is never legal to carry the gun. These places include any "place of nuisance (casino or gambling hall, for instance), any police or sheriff's station, any jail or courthouse, any courtroom, any polling place, any place that serves alcohol as its main function (bars, night clubs), and any school or athletic event. There are also restrictions on carrying a firearm into an airport, so it is always best to check ahead for the proper procedure to check firearms as baggage.