Weapons and Firearms
Right and Wrong Ways to Use and Carry Guns and Other Weapons
Florida Statute 790 regulates the possession and carrying of weapons, including firearms, in the State of Florida. Under F.S. 790.06 you may apply for a license, commonly called a permit, to carry a firearm or other weapons in a concealed manner. If you are issued a concealed weapons license you must have the license and other valid identification in your possession anytime you are carrying a concealed weapon. The purpose of this provision is so law enforcement can quickly and easily check your legal authority to carry a concealed weapon. The license authorizes a person to carry a concealed weapon or firearm but does not authorize the use of the weapon or firearm. The mere holding of a concealed weapon license does not protect a person from behavior that is otherwise criminal.
Examples of acts that may be criminal even if you have a concealed weapon license:
- Brandishing the weapon inappropriately
- Threatening persons with the weapon
- Firing the weapon in a manner that violates Brevard County ordinances
Under F.S. 790.053 a person licensed to carry a concealed fire arm can display the firearm when necessary for self-defense. This means a person who needs to defend themselves can pull the firearm from their purse or pull back their jacket to let a potential threat know you are armed. You can also unholster the firearm, however you may not do so in an angry or threatening manner. This puts a substantial burden on a person using a firearm to defend themselves. When being threatened it is normal for a person to react with anger and fear. You must maintain your composure and not become an aggressor.
In certain situations, a person who is not licensed can carry a concealed weapon. Under F.S. 790.01 (3) (a), a person may lawfully carry a concealed firearm while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued by the Governor or a local authority. The phrase “in the act of evacuating” means the immediate and urgent movement away from danger.
It is also lawful to carry certain weapons for the purpose of lawful self-defense without a license. F.S. 790.01 makes it lawful to carry in a concealed manner a chemical spray, nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon. F.S. 790.053 provides that such weapons can be openly carried for lawful self-defense. This does not mean you can go around threatening people with weapons. F.S. 790.10 provides for up to a year in jail for the improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon or firearm.
If you are considering carrying a firearm or other weapon you should consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to make sure you know your rights and responsibilities. Some of the attorneys at Rhoden Law Group are licensed to carry concealed firearms and other weapons. We are knowledgeable about the laws concerning carrying and using weapons and can help you with your concealed weapon(s) questions. Call today to discuss your legal rights. Initial consultations are a courtesy and we invite you to call or text our office at 321-549-3162. Three locations in Brevard to serve – contact us for an appointment in Rockledge/Cocoa, Melbourne, or Eau Gallie.