Carrying a concealed firearm is a practice that typically requires a permit in the United States. States differ widely in the process to obtain a concealed carry permit and the regulations surrounding carrying a concealed firearm. Charges and penalties stemming from carrying a concealed firearm without a permit or after a permit has been revoked may also vary from state to state.
Florida Concealed Firearm Laws
Concealed carry regulations enforced by states are typically categorized as unrestricted, shall issue, may issue, and no issue. Florida concealed fire arm laws may change periodically between these categories, but as of mid 2014 most states enforced a shall issue policy. States may decide whether or not to honor concealed carry permits from other states. The name of the permit given that allows gun owners to legally carry a concealed firearm may also vary.
Different names or terms given to permits that allow concealed carry include:
- Carry of Concealed Deadly Weapon License
- Concealed Handgun License
- Concealed Carry Weapons
- Concealed Weapon Permit
- Concealed Pistol License
- License to Carry
Differing State Regulations
In some states, a permit given to carry a concealed firearm also allows the owner to carry a firearm openly. In other states, open carry is permitted without a license, but a license must be obtained to carry a concealed firearm. The specific weapons that residents are allowed to carry may also vary by state.
If a state allows unrestricted authorization to carry a concealed weapon, it is not necessary to obtain a permit or license to carry in that state. Carrying the firearm into a different state may still be illegal, however, so it is important for gun owners to understand the differing laws. If a state follows a shall issue policy, a permit or license must be obtained in order to carry a concealed firearm, but the state will issue the license or permit every time that an applicant meets the outlined criteria. In states where may issue is the policy, law enforcement may decide whether or not to issue the permit based on the reason that the individual states for the desire to carry a concealed firearm. If a jurisdiction follows a no issue policy, no permits are issued and it is illegal to carry a concealed firearm.
Washington D.C. Laws
Concealed carry permits are not issued in Washington D.C., and it is illegal to carry a firearm either openly or concealed in Washington D.C. It may be more difficult to even obtain firearms for home protection in Washington D.C., as handguns were banned entirely until 2008. It is also illegal to travel through Washington D.C. with a firearm.
Concealed Carry Permit Revocation
Concealed carry permits and licenses typically have an expiration date and must be renewed periodically. Concealed carry permits may also be revoked if the individual is charged with a crime or has a written complaint filed to have the permit removed. One of the most common reasons for having a concealed carry permit revoked is that the gun owner has been charged with a DUI. If an individual carries a concealed firearm after a permit or license to do so has been revoked, the individual may be arrested.
Illegal Concealed Carry Charges
If an individual is caught with a concealed firearm and that individual does not possess the necessary license or permit that is required by the state, it is typically a felony charge. A felony charge will henceforth make it illegal for the individual to obtain a firearm in any capacity, as well as invalidating certain other rights. Depending on the situation, the charge may be a violent felony and the defendant may face several years in prison, as well as fines.
Defense for Carrying a Concealed Firearm
Following an arrest for carrying a concealed firearm, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney. Laws surrounding concealed carry are shifting rapidly, and a criminal defense lawyer will understand the best defense against a concealed firearms charges. Due to the changing nature of gun laws, many citizens that are acting within legal rights are being unlawfully arrested for carrying a concealed firearm. If an arrest has been made for carrying a concealed firearm and the individual was not acting unlawfully, a criminal defense attorney may not only have the charges dismissed, but may also sue for the damage caused by the unlawful arrest.
“Statutes & Constitution: View Statutes: Online Sunshine.” Statutes & Constitution: View Statutes: Online Sunshine. The Florida Legislature, 27 May 2014. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.01.html>
“U.S. State Pages.” Handgunlaw.us. handgunlaw.us, 27 May 2014. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://www.handgunlaw.us/>