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Knowledgeable Defense of Weapons Charges in Clearwater, FL by an Experienced Attorney

Complying with Florida’s law for carrying a concealed weapon or firearm

Only persons licensed to carry a concealed weapon or firearm are permitted to do so in Florida. State law draws a distinction between weapons and firearms. Carrying a concealed weapon without a license is a first-degree misdemeanor subject to imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. Carrying a concealed firearm without a license is a felony of the third degree subject to imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000.

Many items qualify as weapons under Florida’s concealed carry law

The definition of a weapon under Florida’s concealed carry law is fairly broad and includes the following:

  • Dirk
  • Metallic knuckles
  • Slingshot
  • Billy club
  • Tear gas gun
  • Chemical weapon or device
  • Other deadly weapon

By contrast, a concealed firearm includes any weapon, such as a handgun, that can expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. Machine guns are not included in the list of firearms for which a concealed license may be granted.

Obtaining a concealed weapon or firearm license requires, among other things, that the applicant is at least 21 years of age, has not committed a disqualifying felony, has not been committed in the past three years for abuse of a controlled substance and does not chronically or habitually use alcohol or other substances. A concealed carry permit also requires a demonstration of competence by completing certain education, safety or training courses.

If you are charged with violating the concealed carry law, you should immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer capable of challenging the government’s case by questioning the procedures followed by law enforcement leading to your arrest, the nature and reliability of evidence and witnesses offered by the prosecution and other factors crucial to an effective defense.

Florida’s waiting period for handgun purchases and other weapons laws

There is a three-day waiting period for the purchase and delivery at retail of any handgun in Florida unless the purchaser has a concealed weapons permit or is trading in another handgun. A handgun is any firearm that can be carried and used in one hand, such as a pistol or revolver. A violation of the three-day waiting period by retailers or purchasers is a third-degree felony.

Many other weapons charges can also be the basis of an arrest and conviction in Clearwater, FL and throughout the state. These include, among others:

  • Discharging a firearm in a public place
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Furnishing weapons to minors
  • Possession by a violent career criminal of any firearm or ammunition
  • Altering or removing firearm serial numbers

In addition, anyone who uses a gun while committing certain crimes, including robbery, rape or murder, faces a longer prison sentence than would otherwise apply. For this and other reasons, if you are charged in the Clearwater area with violating any weapons laws it is vital to contact a Clearwater criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible date.

Get help with weapons charges from a Clearwater, FL criminal defense attorney

At the law office of Joseph Montrone, Jr., P.A., I defend individuals arrested on weapons charges in the state of Florida, including those who face enhanced prison sentences for using a weapon in the commission of a crime. My office provides a free initial consultation. Contact me online or call my office at 727-888-0102.