What to know about Florida’s new ‘Permitless Carry’ bill

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

A bill will soon be passed allowing individuals to carry a concealed weapon or firearm in Florida without a license. However, there are still some restrictions kept in place for your safety.

House Bill 543, the “Permitless Carry” goes into effect on July 1, 2023.

According to the Fort Myers Police Department, only certain individuals qualify to carry without a concealed weapons or firearms license.

Once House Bill 543 goes into effect, you’ll have the option of a permit, but you’ll need to be at least 21 years old and need to carry identification at all times.

“Let me tell people who think that maybe they don’t need a concealed carry permit or think that maybe they shouldn’t get one or don’t want to waste their time and money. I highly, highly recommend that you do get one,” said Aaron Forum, founder of Shoot Center in Cape Coral.

Firearms are still prohibited in certain places. They cannot be carried in areas where a private business or property owner has prohibited them.

Any areas outlined in the Florida Statues Section 790.6 are also no-firearm zones, including but not limited to:

  • Schools
  • Colleges or universities
  • Bars
  • Courthouses
  • Government meetings

The new law doesn’t change who can purchase a firearm. The three-day waiting period is also unaffected.

“You really need to understand the laws of where you can and cannot carry, which haven’t changed,” Forum said.

Licensed retailers must still complete the appropriate paperwork and provide the buyer’s information to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“The truth is, a firearm is designed for taking lives,” Forum said. “This is what this tool is designed to do. It can be used for recreation, it can be used for hunting, a number of other things, but it’s the end of the day, it’s under the law, a deadly weapon. If you use your firearm in self defense, you want to have knowledge and education on your side. Bottom line.”

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