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Video:What Are the Gun Laws in Florida?

with Brent Shepherd

Gun laws differ from state to state, and Florida is no different. It's important to know about the waiting periods and rules that apply to gun ownership before buying a gun in Florida. Here's a quick overview of Florida gun laws.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Are the Gun Laws in Florida?

Hi, I'm Brent Shepherd, and I'm with the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum in Titusville, Florida. I'm here for About.com to discuss Florida firearms laws.

Fill Out Form 4473

If you're going to buy a firearm from a federal firearms licensee, what that licensee is going to have you do is complete a Form 4473. This is a national form. It's printed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Essentially, it is a three-page form which has you complete personally identifying information. Twelve or so questions on the form actually have to do with things that would disqualify you from lawfully owning a firearm, or more correctly, from the federal firearms licensee from lawfully transferring a firearm to you. Those questions have to do with a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. military, if you've ever been adjudicated as mentally defective, if you have a restraining order against you, if you've ever been charged with a count of domestic battery.

Background Check to Buy Guns

The state of Florida provides their own background check service, and they will perform the background check based on the information the applicant - the gun buyer - has given them. The state of Florida actually differentiates on their waiting period between long guns and hand guns. If you're purchasing a long gun, then you can go ahead and take that long gun with you after the purchase has been completed, if you successfully pass the background check based on the information on the 4473. If you're buying a handgun and you don't have a concealed weapons permit, then you will have to wait 72 hours.

Florida Gun Laws Require Course for Weapons Permit

For a concealed weapons permit, you do need to attend a state-required course. The course typically consists of about three hours of classroom instruction, which will go over Florida firearms laws and places you can carry and cannot carry. At the end of that course, you will be required to show competency with a firearm. That could include anywhere from a one-round course of fire, which we do not recommend, up to a 20- or 30-round course of fire. You would send out all the paperwork to the Florida Department of Agriculture, and they will typically turn it around in eight to ten weeks if you do it the traditional way of having your fingerprints rolled in ink. If you have your fingerprints done digitally at the local police station, that usually cuts the process in half to about four to five weeks. But in carrying a concealed firearm, you may carry it on or about your person. You can have it in your car, actually on your person as well.

Get a Receipt When Buying Privately

If you've decided to purchase your firearm from a private citizen, there is no waiting period that is required. I would highly suggest that you get a bill of sale that you and the seller will both sign, so that it will notate the date of the transaction or when the possession of the firearm took place. That way, if a crime was committed with that firearm 20 years before, they're not going to link you to it, because your date of possession of that firearm will only go back as far as that bill of sale.

Thank you for watching. For more information about Florida firearms laws or firearms in general, please visit About.com.

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