How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 4:37 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 4:37 PM

Victims of the Florida High School Mass Shooting

Florida is a state where it is not particularly difficult to get a gun. The Giffords Law Center, which is a gun-control advocacy group named after former U.S. House Rep. Gabby Giffords, gives Florida an "F" grade for its gun laws. Below, from the Giffords Law Center, is a look at Florida’s gun laws. 

>> Read more trending news

In Florida, you do not need a license to own or purchase a handgun, shotgun or rifle, nor do you have to register a gun. Here is what’s required from the state for gun ownership.

How do you get a gun in Florida? 

In Florida, to purchase a gun from a gun store, you must pay $8 and complete the paperwork for a background check. If you pass the background check, you get the gun. If the gun is a rifle or a shotgun, you do not have to wait three days to get it. For a handgun, there is a mandatory three-day “cooling off” period in Florida, one of only 10 states that require any waiting period for the purchase of a gun. There is no federal waiting period required when purchasing a gun. Waiting periods are imposed by states.

Here is what Florida does not do:

Who is prohibited from purchasing a gun in Florida?

Federal law prohibits certain people from purchasing or possessing firearms. Felons, certain domestic abusers, and people with a history of mental illness are generally barred from buying a weapon. In Florida, a person is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm if they:

  • Have been convicted of a felony, or are under 24 years of age and have been convicted of a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult
  • Have been issued a final injunction that is currently in force and effect, restraining that person from committing acts of domestic violence
  • Are a “violent career criminal,” as Florida law defines that term

What is the minimum age to purchase a gun in Florida?

In Florida, a person has to be at least 18 years old to purchase and possess a gun. There are exceptions to that law. Minors are eligible to possess a gun if they are:

  • Engaged in a lawful hunting activity and are at least age 16 or if under age 16, are supervised by an adult
  • Engaged in a lawful marksmanship competition or practice or other lawful recreational shooting activity, and are at least age 16 
  • Transporting an unloaded firearm directly to or from one of the aforementioned events
  • Florida law prohibits dealers from selling or transferring firearms to anyone younger than 18

Can someone who has become a person who would be prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida have their guns taken away?

No, Florida has no law requiring a person who has become a person who would be prohibited from owning weapons in Florida to surrender the weapon, nor is there a law that would allow law enforcement to take that person’s firearms.

If a person is the subject of a court-imposed protective order, then Florida does consider it a violation of that protective order if the person refuses to surrender his or her firearms.

What about a semi-automatic weapon? How tough is it to get those type of weapons? 

In most cases, it’s no tougher to get a semi-automatic rifle than it is to get a handgun. Seven states -- California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York – and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning semi-automatic weapons. Minnesota and Virginia regulate semi-automatic weapons. There is no ban on purchasing the weapons in any other state.

Students grieve outside Pines Trail Center where counselors are present, after Wednesday's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Nikolas Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning.(AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
 

Trending - Most Read Stories

Gulf grows between Trump and Congress on trade

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:15 AM

As President Donald Trump this week threatened $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports, and then warned Europe that he would slap a 20 percent tariff on imported automobiles, members of both parties Congress accused the administration of starting a trade war which could cause collateral economic damage across the United States.

The differences were on display at a hearing Wednesday with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who took a bipartisan tongue lashing on a recent round of tariffs levied on imported steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and Europe.

“We’re picking winners and losers,” argued Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who said those tariffs were already hurting businesses in his home state.

“Probably resulting – in my view – in far more jobs being lost than being gained,” Toomey told Ross, citing a very well-known Pennsylvania company that could find it less expensive to move jobs from the U.S. to Canada.

Almost every Senator on the panel had a story of a small business that was feeling the pinch due to Trump Administration tariffs, impacting all sorts of agricultural products, as well as manufacturing, big and small.

“Do you think we’re in a trade war right now?” asked Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “Because I do,” as Cantwell rattled off farm products that were losing markets because of retaliatory tariff measures.

Ross downplayed the cost of higher imported steel and aluminum, basically making the case that economic hardships were being overplayed.

“It’s a fraction of a penny on a can of Campbell’s soup, it’s a fraction on a can of Budweiser, it’s a fraction on a can of Coke,” Ross said.

That did not please the Senator from the state of Coca-Cola.

“Although a couple of pennies on a can is not much, a couple pennies times a billion is lots,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

“We’re hit harder than any other state by the Canadian retaliatory tariffs,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), warning the Trump Administration against tariffs on imported automobiles, as GOP Senators labeled such actions a tax on consumers.

“Steel prices are going up – not just for foreign steel subject to tariffs, but also for U.S. steel,” complained Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

“Mexico’s buying their wheat from Argentina and their corn from Brazil,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), as he told Ross that Kansas wheat exports were encountering troubles because of new retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, bringing bad economic news on the farm report.

Ross simply told Senators if other countries put new tariffs on U.S. exports, that was out of his control.

“We have no control over what another country does in retaliation,” Ross said.

The bipartisan complaints clearly had no impact, as by Friday, President Trump was on Twitter, issuing new threats against European auto imports.

As Democrats registered their opposition, they also couldn’t help but note the oddity of a Republican President going against what’s been a bedrock belief of the GOP.

“I feel like I’ve gone down a rabbit hole,” said Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-MO), who said she found it hard to believe the party of free trade now had a President in office who was doing the exact opposite.

“In a chaotic and frankly incompetent manner, you’re picking winners and losers,” McCaskill told Ross.

But for the President, this is about re-setting trade deals, which he says were tilted against the United States.

“As far as trade is concerned with other countries, we want fair and reciprocal trade, we don’t want stupid trade like we had for so long,” the President said at a rally in Minnesota.

“Remember the world reciprocal,” Mr. Trump said. “We have been ripped off by almost every country on Earth, our friends and our enemies.”

“But those days are over,” the President said to cheers from the crowd.

But while they’re cheering Mr. Trump on the stump, at the U.S. Capitol, they’re worried about a trade war.

“We’re getting into a war that’s going to cost lots of billions of dollars,” Isakson warned.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Superman trades cape for badge: Dean Cain sworn in as reserve police officer in Idaho

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 4:02 AM

Actor Dean Cain was sworn in as a reserve police officer in Idaho.
Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety
Actor Dean Cain was sworn in as a reserve police officer in Idaho.(Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)

Superman has changed uniforms.

>> Read more trending news

Actor Dean Cain, who played the Man of Steel in the show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” was recently sworn in as a reserve officer in Idaho, Fox News reported.

Cain, 51, was sworn in as a reserve for the St. Anthony Police Department, Fox News reported. The Idaho State Police tweeted the news Tuesday, showing a series of photos of the swearing-in ceremony.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Oregon man wins lottery jackpot with 'mistake ticket'

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 1:16 AM

A man in Oregon is much richer after buying a lottery ticket that was printed by mistake.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A man in Oregon is much richer after buying a lottery ticket that was printed by mistake.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A convenience store clerk last week offered an Oregon man a chance to buy two lottery tickets that were printed by mistake. The man bought one and left, then thought better of it and returned to buy the other one.

>> Read more trending news

It was a decision for which he would be richly rewarded.

That second ticket Charles Svitak bought June 16 at a 7-Eleven store earned him a $7.3 million payday in Oregon’s Megabucks game, KDRV reported.

"When I checked the ticket on my computer I couldn't believe it," Svitak told The Oregonian. "The first thing I thought is that I had worked my last graveyard shift."

Svitak, who works in Medford, took the lump sum option, which was for $3.65 million, KDRV reported.

Patrick Johnson, public affairs officer at the Oregon Lottery, told the Oregonian that the tickets were not Quick Picks, where numbers are randomly generated by the computer.

Svitak did not tell his wife about the winnings. He went to Salem to get the check and then bought a truck.

"On the way home I got a new truck and put the oversized check they gave me on the windshield," Svitak told the Oregonian

Svitak showed his wife the check and truck when he returned home.

"She hasn't stopped giggling since," Svitak told KDRV.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Giant spoon erected in front of pharmaceutical company to protest opioid addiction

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:57 PM

What You Need To Know: Opioids

A giant spoon was left in front of a pharmaceutical company in protest by a Connecticut artist.

>> Read more trending news

The 800-pound, 11-foot-long steel spoon symbolizes a much heavier burden for two artists.

"A symbol of the negative emotion I felt of the opioid addiction of my brother, Danny," Westwood native Domenic Esposito said. "For the last 14 years, we have been dealing with it.”

Esposito traveled to Connecticut to work with art gallery owner Fernando Alvarez to make the sculpture, and then move it to the front of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut.

“I’ve gotten a lot of tweets and messages about this," Esposito said. "Everyone knows what the missing spoon is who has family members that were affected by this.”

Earlier in June, Attorney General Maura Healey filed a lawsuit against Purdue on behalf of the state.

The lawsuit accuses the maker of oxycontin of illegally promoting the use of opioids and misrepresenting the risks of addiction and death connected to the drug.

It was the first lawsuit that also names the drug maker's executives and directors.

Purdue has denied the allegations and released a statement on the protest.

“We share the protestors’ concern about the opioid crisis, and respect their right to peacefully express themselves," the protest said.

Gallery owner Fernando Alvarez said the crimes are never punished, and changes need to occur.

"No one ever goes to jail for these things and that’s why the epidemic continues to happen," Alvarez said. "We are talking about real lives.”

Alvarez ended up in handcuffs on Friday for a minor charge of obstructing free passage. 

City workers using heavy equipment hauled away the giant spoon, but the two men hope the weight of the message stays.

Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The spoon will become a part of the exhibit at the Alvarez Gallery in Stamford.

Trending - Most Read Stories