If you have been charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a license in Florida or the greater West Palm Beach area, it is important that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. West Palm Beach carrying a concealed firearm lawyers have extensive experience representing individuals charged with weapons offenses. An experienced gun attorney can help provide the most aggressive defense possible thus ensuring the best results.
Concealed Firearm Laws
In order for someone to legally carry a concealed firearm, someone must have a license (also known as a concealed weapons permit) pursuant to Florida Statute Section 790.06. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is responsible for issuing concealed carry licenses to qualified applicants.
Florida is a shall issue state, which means that the FDACS must issue a concealed weapons permit to applicants who meet the statutory criteria. The minimum eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Must be a resident and citizen or permanent resident of the United States
- Is at least 21 years of age
- Have not been convicted of a felony or have a disqualifying criminal record
- Must be able to demonstrate competency with a firearm
- Have not been committed for abuse of a controlled substance or have a record of alcohol or drug abuse
- Desires to carry a concealed firearm for lawful self-defense
- Completion of a firearms safety or training course or class
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, section 8(a) of the Florida Constitution guarantees the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. However, those protections do not guarantee the right of people to carry concealed firearms in public. Accordingly, States can choose to enact laws requiring people to obtain a license to carry concealed firearms, establishing the qualifications for licensure, and limit the places where concealed weapons/firearms are allowed.
Inability to Utilize a Valid Permit
Even if someone has a valid permit, there are still some places where it is illegal to carry a gun, such as:
- Any place of nuisance (a place which conducts any illegal activity)
- Police, sheriff, or highway patrol station
- A prison
- A courthouse
- A polling place
- Any government body meeting
- Any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms
- Any school administration building
- Any elementary or secondary school facility
- Any liquor store
- Any career center
- Inside the passenger terminal of an airport
Unlicensed Carrying of a Concealed Firearm
It is a criminal offense for a person to knowingly carry a concealed firearm on or about their person without a license. West Palm Beach carrying a concealed firearm law means any weapon as defined in 790.001(6) that is carried in a manner so as to obscure it from the ordinary sight of another person. The phrase, on or about their person means physically on the person or readily accessible to them. A West Palm Beach weapons offense lawyer can further explain the laws regarding concealed firearms.
What Does Ordinary Sight of Another Person Mean?
The ordinary sight of another person is defined as the casual and ordinary observation of another in the normal associations of life. The firearm does not have to be completely hidden for it to be considered concealed. The unlicensed carrying of a concealed firearm is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Some of the possible defenses to carrying a concealed firearm charge include:
- The accused has a valid permit/license
- Possession of a concealed firearms in the home or place of business
- Carrying a gun in private conveyance if the firearm is securely encased
- The firearm was not readily accessible
West Palm Beach carrying a concealed firearm lawyers may have successfully defended gun owners facing a variety of weapons charges. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your specific situation and possible defense strategies.