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Can you possess a firearm in florida if you have a criminal record?

Posted on May 07, 2015 1:00 PM EST

Were you recently arrested for a criminal offense? If so, you may be curious to know how a criminal conviction might affect your ability to possess or purchase a firearm – and you have every reason to wonder about this.

In Florida, your right to bear arms to defend yourself shall not be infringed, unless the manner of bearing arms is regulated by law. Simply put, you maintain the right to bear arms in Florida, unless doing so is in violation of the law.
Background Checks for BuyersIf you wish to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, you must submit to a background check. All licensed dealers in Florida are required to run background checks on buyers before they can sell them a weapon.

Florida is a “point of contact” state, which means that the state conducts its own background checks against buyers. The way this works is firearms dealers contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), who initiates a background check on the buyer.

Once the FDLE receives a request to run a background check, it will review all available records and decide whether the buyer is allowed to purchase a firearm.

You cannot buy a firearm in Florida if:
  • You have been convicted of a felony.
  • You have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.
  • You have been committed to a mental institution by the court.
  • The court has adjudicated you “mentally defective.”
Conditional Non-approvals Issued by the FDLEThe FDLE shall issue a conditional non-approval to any buyer who has been indicted for a felony, has an information filed against them for a felony, has a domestic violence restraining order filed against him or her, has been arrested for one of the 22 “dangerous crimes,” has been convicted of certain controlled substances violations, or convicted of stalking or certain weapons violations.

The FDLE has three business days to determine whether an indictment, information, or arrest prohibits a dealer from selling a firearm to a buyer.

Neither Florida law, nor federal law requires that private sellers run background checks when transferring a firearm. However, it is unlawful for any convicted felon to possess or control a firearm unless their civil rights have been restored.

Looking for a Miami criminal defense attorney to fight your criminal charges, and protect your right to bear arms? Call Donet, McMillan & Trontz, P.A.today!

Categories: Criminal Defense