Buying Guns and Ammo in Florida

DISCLAIMER: It is your full responsibility to make sure the firearm, ammunition, or accessories you are purchasing is legal for you to own in your state or jurisdiction. The information contained throughout this web site, including the firearm and ammunition state guide provided below, is not legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.

Florida is somewhat of a mixed bag when it comes to the permissiveness of its firearms laws. On one hand, Florida recently became a Constitutional Carry state, meaning that no permit is required to concealed carry a firearm in the state. There are also prohibitions on gun registries in the state.

On the other hand, the state has some ammunition bans as well as a mandatory waiting period on firearms purchased at FFLs, and a general prohibition on open carry with few exceptions. This somewhat contradictory approach makes Florida a middle-of-the-pack state in terms of its firearms permissiveness.

While this guide should not be construed as legal advice, we certainly hope that it can be of use to folks who are interested in buying, owning, and carrying firearms and ammunition in the Sunshine State. While the state’s laws have several parts that cover firearms, Chapter 790 of Title 46 of the state statutes is a good place to start in getting a legal foundation for a guide like this.

Luckily, Florida prohibits localities from making firearms laws that are more strict than those at the state level, and thus once one learns the generalities of FL firearms law, that knowledge applies to the entire state. With that said, this piece focuses first on the laws surrounding purchasing ammo in the state before turning to purchasing and carrying firearms in Florida. 

Ammo Laws/Buying Ammo in Florida

First, we will cover the ammo laws of the state.

Florida has a law that prohibits the sale and possession of armor-piercing rounds, explosive ammunition, bolo rounds, incendiary rounds, and flechettes. This law exempts law enforcement from the same prohibitions. This is the major ammunition ban in the state: otherwise, things are fairly permissive in that there are no additional background checks or paperwork to buy ammunition in the state.

As long as the ammunition that a buyer wants is not on the prohibited list we linked to above, it is possible to have ammunition shipped to a residential address in Florida. Federal laws still apply, so there is an age requirement: people have to be 18 to buy rifle and shotgun ammunition, and 21 to buy handgun ammunition. Additionally, prohibited persons, usually those who have been convicted of felonies, or domestic violence, or have been ruled to be mentally incapable in a court of law, cannot purchase ammunition in Florida.

Aside from the aforementioned prohibited ammunition types, Florida is otherwise permissive when it comes to the buying of ammunition, and buyers who meet the requirements can have their ammunition shipped directly to residential addresses. Keep in mind, though, that carriers can impose their own rules, such as asking for an adult with a valid ID to be present to accept and sign for the delivery of ammunition. 

Gun Laws/Buying Guns in Florida 

Next, we will do the same analysis for gun laws.

Florida presents a seriously mixed bag in terms of its firearms laws and their permissiveness. On the permissive end, Florida’s laws bar the state from creating or maintaining any kind of firearms registry. The state also goes out of its way to carefully list many circumstances in which people can lawfully carry and use firearms. Additionally, Florida recently became a Constitutional Carry state, in which people do not need to have a concealed carry permit to concealed carry a firearm.

Despite no longer requiring a permit, the Florida Department of Agriculture does still offer concealed carry permits: these are useful for both interstate reciprocity, and to alleviate the need for waiting periods should one plan to purchase firearms inside the state.

With these laws, one might think that FL is extremely firearms-friendly. But there are some much less permissive components. For starters, open carry is generally illegal in Florida, with exemptions for both hunting and fishing. There is also a new three-day waiting period on all firearms purchases in the state unless the buyer already has a concealed carry permit or a hunter’s safety card. Florida also has a red flag law, which means that it is possible for the state to come and take someone’s guns even though there has been no hearing with them present, nor a conviction for any crime. Finally, there’s an overall age restriction, meaning that most non-police Floridians cannot buy firearms until they are 21.

Regardless of permitting status, there are some places where Floridians cannot carry firearms. These locations include:

  • K-12 schools

  • Universities and colleges that forbid carrying on campus

  • Inside airport terminals 

  • Court buildings

  • Jails

  • Mental health facilities 

  • Polling places

  • Bars

These restrictions are not unusual: states ranging from the least permissive to the most lax in terms of firearms laws have almost identical lists of where folks cannot carry a firearm, and this includes states that do not require permits to carry.

For many folks, this means that buying a firearm in Florida will now take at least three days, and they have to be older than federal law requires to buy long guns. All-in-all, this makes Florida’s laws for purchasing firearms fairly strict. Permitless carry, however, makes the state much more permissive. Since Florida law is such a mixed bag in terms of firearms, a careful reading of the relevant statutes is necessary before getting involved with firearms in Florida.

Florida is home to a number of firearms importers and manufacturers. For example, KelTec is headquartered in the state and does much of its manufacturing in Florida.

The general state of firearms and ammunition laws in Florida is mixed in terms of their overall permissiveness. The state does not have the magazine or assault weapon bans that are common to more restrictive states, but does implement waiting periods and has prohibitions on open carry.

With the addition of a red flag law, Florida appears to be fairly restrictive. It is certainly one of the more restrictive states in the South, to say the least. It is difficult to make a simple declaration about Florida’s gun laws: they are permissive in terms of concealed carry and lack of outright gun bans, but some of the state laws closely resemble those in the most restrictive states. Since there is no one general principle that governs Florida gun laws, having a careful knowledge of the laws on the ground in the state is key to staying on the right side of those laws.

Sales Tax on Guns/Ammo in Florida 

The general sales tax in FL is 6%, but localities can and do add additional taxes. Florida does not impose additional taxes on firearms or ammunition sold within the state. In fact, Florida does quite the opposite and has exempted safety equipment like safes and locks from sales tax. The savings are always a welcome thing, as is additional safety when storing firearms.

More Resources:

The Florida Shooter’s Network is an active forum that contains a lot of local knowledge and has handy regional sub-forums for folks looking for events within easy driving distance.

Florida Gun Law FAQ:

Yes: Florida has instituted a three-day waiting period. Notably, it does not count weekends or holidays, so all firearms purchases have a three-business-day waiting period.

Generally, it’s illegal to open carry in Florida. The exceptions to this are folks who are actively going to, from, or engaged in, hunting or fishing. With that in mind, merely having a fishing pole in one’s car is not likely to convince an officer that the person is legally carrying openly. 

Florida does ban several kinds of ammunition (armor-piercing rounds, explosive ammunition, bolo rounds, incendiary rounds, and flechettes). But, as long as the ammunition itself is legal to own in the state and the buyer is old enough, then ammo can be shipped to residential addresses in the state. Be aware that shippers can add requirements such as asking for an ID upon delivery. 

As long as the seller is reasonably sure that the buyer is over eighteen and not a prohibited person then, yes, private sales are legal. These sales do not, at the time of this writing, require either waiting periods or background checks.

No. The state does not require a permit to concealed carry a firearm. With that said, the state does offer permits that are accepted in a fair few other states, and having the permit waives the requirement for a waiting period when buying firearms from an FFL in the state.