TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s new “constitutional carry” bill signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year is set to take effect July 1.
The law (HB 543) allows some Florida residents to carry a concealed weapon or firearm without a concealed weapon license — something previously punishable as a third-degree felony.
Under the new law, a concealed weapon is defined as “a handgun, electronic weapon or device, tear gas gun, knife, or billie” – a short wooden club often carried by law enforcement.
In order to qualify for constitutional carry, residents must satisfy two main requirements:
First, they must carry a valid form of ID while in actual possession of a concealed weapon, and provide it to law enforcement if asked. Second, they must obey any prohibition against carrying concealed weapons in certain locations.
Although the law requires a person to satisfy the above criteria, it does not require residents to submit fingerprints or to complete a background check.
The law also enables Florida residents 18 years or older to possess a concealed firearm without a license within the interior of a private conveyance if their concealed firearm or weapon is “securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use,” the law states.
Current concealed weapon license holders
Florida residents who already have their concealed weapon license are no longer required to carry their licenses when in possession of a concealed weapon, but are still required to carry a valid form of ID.
Non-Florida residents may carry a concealed weapon in Florida if they are 21 years of age or older, carry a valid license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued by their state of residence, and are a resident of the United States.
Nonresidents are subject to the same laws and restrictions with respect to carrying a concealed weapon or firearm as Florida residents with a concealed weapon license.