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Know the Laws: Florida

UPDATED April 13, 2017

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Below is information about state gun laws in Florida.  An injunction for protection against domestic violence or criminal conviction may make it illegal for an abuser to have a gun. However, in addition to these state-specific laws, there are also federal gun laws that could apply. To fully understand all of the legal protections available, it is important that you also read the Federal Gun Laws pages.

WomensLaw.org strongly recommends that you get in touch with a domestic violence advocate or lawyer in your community for more information on gun laws in your area. To find an agency, please go to the FL Where to Find Help page.

More Information and Where to Get Help

back to topI do not have an injunction for protection against domestic violence against the abuser and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Is it legal for the abuser to have a gun?

It might still be illegal for the abuser to have a gun.  Florida state law says that the following persons cannot have or buy a gun:

  • Anyone declared by court to be mentally incompetent;
  • A drug addict;
  • A habitual or chronic alcoholic;
  • Vagrants and other "undesirable persons" such as those who are caught suspiciously loitering; or
  • A person in a "place of nuisance" such as a drug house or house of prostitution.*

If one of these applies to the abuser, please talk to an advocate or lawyer in your area about how this law is being enforced. You can find referrals under the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.

If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety.  See our Staying Safe page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety.  See our FL State and Local Programs page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.

For additional information on gun laws in Florida, you can go to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence website.

* F.S.A. § 790.25(2)(b)

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back to topThe abuser uses a gun for his/her job. Do the state gun laws still apply?

Maybe.  Florida state law says that the abuser cannot buy or have a gun in his/her possession if there is a final injunction for protection against domestic violence or against stalking/cyberstalking currently in effect against him/her.*  However, this law does not apply if the abuser is a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer -- either full-time, part-time, or auxiliary.**

For more information, you may want to talk with a domestic violence advocate in your area.  To find one, please go to our FL State and Local Programs page.

* F.S.A. § 790.233(1)
** F.S.A. §§ 790.233(3); 943.10(14)

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back to topI read through all of this information, and I'm still confused. What can I do?

Trying to understand both federal and state gun laws can be confusing, but there are people out there who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.  You can:

  • Write to our Email Hotline.
  • Contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. (See our FL State and Local Programs page).
  • Contact the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you: 1-800-903-0111 x2.

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