July 13, 2024

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Illegal Possession of Firearms in Florida: What You Need to Know

Illegal Possession of Firearms in Florida: What You Need to Know

Illegal Possession of Firearms in Florida: What You Need to Know

Florida gun laws place relatively few restrictions on firearms ownership. People are generally allowed to legally own or buy a gun unless they have lost their ownership rights. However, some firearms are illegal in Florida. If you are found in possession of an illegal firearm, you could face severe penalties, including incarceration, fines, and a criminal record. Below, we provide essential information on what firearms are illegal in Florida and the penalties associated with illegal possession.

What Guns Are Illegal in Florida?

According to Florida Statute ยง 790.221, the possession or ownership of short-barreled rifles, shotguns, or machine guns in working condition is prohibited. These firearms are considered illegal unless they are classified as antiques.

Florida respects the Second Amendment but has banned certain firearms for public safety. Individuals who are not licensed with the federal government cannot carry, possess, or own these guns. Illegal guns include:

  • Machine Guns: Automatic weapons that can continuously fire ammunition without the need to manually reload.
  • Short-Barreled Rifles: Firearms with one or more barrels less than 16 inches long, or weapons made or modified from a rifle to have an overall length less than 26 inches.
  • Short-Barreled Shotguns: Shotguns with one or more barrels less than 18 inches long, or weapons made or modified from a shotgun to have an overall length less than 26 inches.

Antique firearms are defined as weapons or ammunition manufactured before or in 1898. These are typically part of collections or displays and are not intended for use.

Is It Illegal to Own Unregistered Guns in Florida?

Florida does not have a gun registration requirement, and individuals do not need a permit to purchase a firearm. Unregistered guns are not illegal in Florida because there is no registry system. However, people must have a license to carry a concealed firearm.

While owning or possessing a firearm does not require a license, certain individuals are prohibited from doing so, including:

  • Convicted felons
  • Domestic violence abusers
  • Fugitives
  • Addicts/drug users
  • Mentally ill individuals
  • Undocumented immigrants
  • Minors

A background check is mandatory when purchasing a firearm, even though there is no registration requirement. Failure to comply with this law may result in criminal charges. If you are charged with illegal firearm possession, contacting a criminal defense attorney is crucial for preparing your legal defense.

Penalties for Possessing an Illegal Gun in Florida

Possessing or owning a firearm that is illegal under Florida law is a second-degree felony. If an individual uses or carries an illegal firearm while committing another crime, the penalties can be even more severe. Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit is also a criminal offense.

Being found with an illegal firearm in Florida can lead to arrest and criminal charges. Under Florida law, this crime is classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

A conviction for illegal firearm possession can also result in the loss of your gun ownership rights. You may be denied the right to own a weapon or obtain a concealed carry permit.

Florida concealed weapon laws make it illegal to carry a gun concealed without a valid permit. This charge can range from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, depending on the type of weapon involved.

Contact a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney

In Florida, being charged with illegal possession of firearms is a serious offense that can lead to fines, jail time, a criminal record, and even the loss of your gun ownership rights. It is crucial to contact a criminal lawyer who can prepare a strong and strategic defense.

Manderscheid Law Firm, PLLC, based in St. Petersburg, represents clients charged with various criminal offenses, including gun crimes. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of the legal system and fight for your rights.

If you or a loved one has been accused of illegal possession of firearms, contact Manderscheid Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation. Call us at 727-314-7543 or visit our website to schedule your appointment.

Don’t face firearm charges alone. Contact Manderscheid Law Firm, PLLC in St. Petersburg today for a free consultation. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and protect your rights. Call us at 727-314-7543 to schedule your appointment.

This post was written by a professional at The Manderscheid Law Firm, PLLC. The Manderscheid Law Firm, PLLC, is your trusted st petersburg criminal lawyer. With a commitment to integrity, advocacy, and understanding, my firm stands out in its dedication to giving each client and their case the personal attention they deserve. Whether you’re facing charges for DUI in St Pete FL, drug offenses, theft, or any other criminal matter, you can trust our experienced team to fight for your rights and provide the best possible defense. At Manderscheid Law Firm, PLLC, we believe in a tailored approach, ensuring every client feels heard and supported throughout the legal process.