How Do You Purchase a Gun in Florida?

Thu, Feb 9, 2012

General Legal Issues

How do you Purchase a Gun in Florida?

Florida’s gun laws are fairly lenient. However, there are some rules every licensed gun dealer must follow.

All purchasers must be over the age of 18 or have verified permission of their parents. The state of Florida also requires a background check of the purchaser, but does not require permits or registrations. Florida’s background check is part of its Firearms Purchase Program (FPP). The background check consists of filling out an ATF Form 4473 form supplied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and paying a small fee. The form asks questions about prior criminal history and about the person’s mental health and requires a photo id (here is a link to the actual form and a link to FAQs). The dealer completes the background check with the Florida Department of Law of Enforcement (FDLE) by calling and receiving a confirmation/approval number to keep on record. (If the dealer sees something on the form they know prohibits them from selling the firearm, they stop the purchase before calling the FDLE.)

It also mandates a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases (such as a pistol or revolver). Meaning there is a delay of three days between the purchase of the handgun and delivery of it. (This waiting period does not apply to long guns like rifles or shotguns or when exchanging one handgun for another.) This waiting period is in business days and can be extended up to 5 days by certain counties. There is some dispute about whether this applies to gun shops or just gun shows. Check with your dealer prior to purchase to understand their requirements.

Those with valid concealed weapons permits are exempt from the background check and waiting period since they have already passed requirements that are more rigorous.

These rules are discussed in the Constitution of the State of Florida, Article I, Section 8 and Article VIII, Section 5.

Image credit: simonov

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