Carrying a Concealed Weapon

The right of Floridians to keep and bear arms is protected under both state and federal law, but firearms and weapons are prohibited from being carried into certain protected locations. Additionally, only licensed individuals are allowed to carry concealed weapons or firearms.

People who carry concealed firearms or weapons without a valid license can face criminal charges, and some alleged crimes can be felony offenses that can result in possible loss of the right to possess firearms. Many individuals accused of this crime committed violations unknowingly and may be able to have criminal charges reduced or dismissed through certain defenses.

Lawyer for Carrying a Concealed Weapon Arrests in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Were you recently arrested for allegedly carrying a concealed firearm or weapon in South Florida? Do not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. today for help protecting your legal rights.

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell represent clients accused of firearm and weapons offenses in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Davie, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, and many surrounding areas of Broward County. Call (954) 716-8538 right now to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Broward County Carrying a Concealed Weapon Information Center


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Florida Carrying a Concealed Weapon Charges

Under Florida Statute § 790.01, it is a first-degree misdemeanor if an alleged offender who is not licensed under Florida Statute § 790.06 to carry a concealed weapon or electric weapon or device on or about his or her person, but unlicensed carrying becomes a third-degree felony if a person not licensed under the same statute carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person. The difference between a concealed weapon and concealed firearm is as follows:

  • Concealed Firearm, Florida Statute § 790.001(2) — Any firearm—defined in Florida Statute § 790.001(6) as “any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun (“firearm” does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person)—that is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person.
  • Concealed Weapon, Florida Statute § 790.001(3) — Any dirk, metallic knuckles, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the ordinary sight of another person.

Florida Statute § 790.01(3) establishes that the state unlicensed carrying of concealed weapons or concealed firearms law does not apply to:

  • A person who carries a concealed weapon, or a person who may lawfully possess a firearm and who carries a concealed firearm, on or about his or her person while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency declared by the governor pursuant to chapter 252 or declared by a local authority pursuant to chapter 870. As used in this subsection, the term “in the act of evacuating” means the immediate and urgent movement of a person away from the evacuation zone within 48 hours after a mandatory evacuation is ordered. The 48 hours may be extended by an order issued by the governor.
  • A person who carries for purposes of lawful self-defense, in a concealed manner a self-defense chemical spray or a nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes.

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Carrying a Concealed Weapon Penalties in Broward County

First-degree misdemeanor convictions for carrying a concealed weapon or electric weapon or device are punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Third-degree felony convictions for carrying a concealed firearm are punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

It is important to note that Florida Statute § 790.07 makes it a third-degree felony if an alleged offender carries a concealed weapon while committing or attempting to commit any felony or while under indictment. If a person carries a concealed firearm while committing or attempting to commit any felony, he or she can be charged with a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Florida Statute § 790.23 also makes it a second-degree felony for any person who is a convicted felon to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device. If any alleged criminal offense was committed for the purpose of benefiting, promoting, or furthering the interests of a criminal gang, Florida Statute § 874.04 establishes that penalties will be enhanced by one level, such that a first-degree misdemeanor becomes a third-degree felony, a third-degree felony becomes a second-degree felony, and a second-degree felony becomes a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.


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Florida Resources for Carrying a Concealed Weapon Offenses

Florida Concealed Weapon License Application Information | Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services — Concealed carry permits are issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Visit this website to check the status of your application, renew your license, and find answers to frequently asked questions. You can also find reciprocity information concerning states recognizing Florida licenses.

Norman v. State, No. SC15-650 (Fla. Mar. 2, 2017) — Dale Lee Norman was charged with open carrying of a weapon after he was viewed walking alongside U.S. Highway 1 with his handgun holstered on his hip and not covered by any article of clothing. After the jury found Norman guilty of the sole count of openly carrying a firearm, the county court denied Norman’s motions to dismiss, but certified the following three questions of great public importance to the Fourth District:

  • Is Florida’s statutory scheme related to the open carry of firearms constitutional?
  • Do the exceptions to the prohibition against open carry constitute affirmative defenses to a prosecution for a charge of open carry, or does the State need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a particular defendant is not conducting himself or herself in the manner allowed[, meaning that they are elements of the crime]?
  • Does the recent “brief and open display” exception unconstitutionally infect the open carry law by its vagueness?

The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld Florida’s Open Carry Law under intermediate scrutiny, and the Supreme Court of Florida affirmed in this decision on March 2, 2017, holding that Florida Statute § 790.053 “does not unconstitutionally infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms, as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court in Heller and McDonald, or the Florida Constitution’s freestanding right to bear arms subject to the Legislature’s authority to regulate the use and manner of doing so.”


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Meltzer & Bell, P.A. | Fort Lauderdale Carrying a Concealed Weapon Defense Attorney

If you were arrested for allegedly carrying a concealed firearm or weapon anywhere in Broward County, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. defends residents and visitors all over South Florida, including Deerfield Beach, Weston, Tamarac, Margate, Coconut Creek, Hallandale Beach, Wilton Manors, Sunrise, and several other nearby communities.

Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Fort Lauderdale who will work diligently to help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case, including possibly having the criminal charges minimized or completely eliminated. They can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (954) 716-8538 or fill out an online contact form to receive a free initial consultation.


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