Cocked and locked: As Biden pushes gun control, how does Florida stock up?

Florida

(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After multiple mass shootings, President Joe Biden this week announced a series of executive actions targeting increasing gun violence across the United States and named his nominee to run the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The six executive actions named in Biden’s announcement remain limited in effect without a larger set of legislative measures to more fully address the ongoing gun violence issues in the U.S. Still, the executive actions are a first step to make good on a pledge the president made to address “common-sense steps” taking aim at gun control reforms.

As Biden pushes to limit gun modifications and have the Justice Department publish a new “red flag” model for states, the department will also be publishing a comprehensive report on firearms tracking across the U.S., including online sales of so-called “ghost guns,” according to the White House.

While the president works on executive efforts to tackle gun control nationally, states each have their own rules and regulations for gun owners and gun safety. Without legislative action, it is unclear exactly how much the new executive actions will do to affect the proliferation of guns in the U.S.

How many guns are registered in Florida?

The ATF reported that, as of April 2020, Florida had 497,078 firearms registered through the National Firearms Act. The ATF report also states that there were 63 firearms importers, 461 firearms manufacturers and 518 firearms dealers in the state, based on 2019 tax data.

While there is some federal information on gun ownership collected by the ATF, the State of Florida does not have a registry of firearms or their owners. By law, keeping a list of legally-owned firearms or law-abiding firearm owners is illegal. The law prevents state agencies or any local government from maintaining such a list. Florida does not require a permit to own a gun.

Still, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing does maintain a statistical count of the number of concealed weapon/firearm license holders there are in each Florida county. It does not disclose the identities of the license holders, nor does it state how many guns each licensee owns.

That being said, not all counties are armed equally.

How many licensed gun owners are there in Florida?

As of March 31, 2021, Florida DACS data shows how many concealed carry licensees are in each county (Tampa Bay area counties are bolded):

COUNTY# OF LICENSEESCOUNTY POPULATION
Alachua25,328269,043
Baker4,58229,210
Bay28,557174,705
Bradford3,58528,201
Brevard78,478601,942
Broward156,1181,952,778
Calhoun1,77314,105
Charlotte23,771188,910
Citrus22,021149,657
Clay31,490219,252
Collier32,652384,902
Columbia9,83671,686
DeSoto3,34038,001
Dixie4,50116,826
Duval102,085957,755
Escambia36,923318,316
Flagler16,664115,081
Franklin1,41512,125
Gadsden4,17045,660
Gilchrist91718,582
Glades74013,811
Gulf2,27413,639
Hamilton1,57314,428
Hardee2,87326,937
Hendry4,06742,022
Hernando26,963193,920
Highlands14,831106,221
Hillsborough124,8161,471,968
Holmes3,48919,617
Indian River22,310159,923
Jackson7,83146,414
Jefferson1,97414,246
Lafayette8098,422
Lake56,323367,118
Lee79,908770,577
Leon27,171293,582
Levy6,27941,503
Liberty1,0508,354
Madison2,56918,493
Manatee36,424403,253
Marion49,813365,579
Martin20,567161,000
Miami-Dade172,1052,716,940
Monroe11,49774,228
Nassau14,17388,625
Okaloosa38,311210,73842,168
Okeechobee6,03942,168
Orange102,6841,393,452
Osceola34,787375,751
Palm Beach126,3851,496,770
Pasco62,664553,947
Pinellas85,595974,996
Polk72,233724,777
Putnam8,87474,521
Santa Rosa28,770184,313
Sarasota46,563433,742
Seminole38,802471,826
St. Johns30,854264,672
St. Lucie35,758328,297
Sumter11,300132,420
Suwanee6,86544,417
Taylor2,81721,569
Union1,95115,237
Volusia67,348553,284
Wakulla5,30633,739
Walton8,88374,071
Washington3,85825,473
Out of State229,290
State Totals2,3366,57221,477,737
(Population Data from U.S. Census Bureau)

Based on the data from FLDACS, the Top 10 counties with the most concealed carry licensed gun owners in Florida are:

  1. Miami-Dade: 172,105
  2. Broward: 156,118
  3. Hillsborough: 124,816
  4. Palm Beach: 126,385
  5. Orange: 102,684
  6. Duval: 102,085
  7. Pinellas: 85,595
  8. Lee: 79,908
  9. Brevard: 78,478
  10. Polk: 72,233

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