Here’s what to know about Florida’s new Constitutional Carry law going into effect

HB-543 goes into effect on July 1

A new “Constitutional Carry” bill that was signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Ron DeSantis is set to go into effect July 1.

The law allows authorized Florida residents to carry a concealed firearm or other weapons without a concealed weapons license — something they would have needed a concealed carry license for prior to the new law going into effect.

However, that means that a firearm held under the concealed carry law must be concealed. It cannot be openly carried.

While this act provides greater gun rights for many Florida residents, it doesn’t apply to everyone.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office explained on Thursday that the law doesn’t apply to anyone who doesn’t already qualify for a concealed carry permit. Those groups include:

  • Those under the age of 21, unless you are a member of the Armed Forces
  • Convicted felons
  • Those convicted of certain violent crimes, such as misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence
  • People subject to a domestic violence or repeat violence injunction
  • Those who have been committed by a court to a mental institution or substance abuse facility
  • Florida residents found guilty of drug crimes or being an illegal drug user (including those who have a medical marijuana card)

Additionally, this law only extends to Florida residents. This means that if you want to conceal carry in another state, it must have reciprocity agreements with Florida. A full list of those states can be found here.

Furthermore, the concealed carry law doesn’t apply to the following areas:

  • Sheriff’s offices and police stations
  • Jails and prisons
  • Courthouses
  • Polling places
  • Meetings of the governing body of a county, school district, municipality or special district
  • Schools, colleges, universities or their administration buildings
  • Bars
  • Passenger terminals of airports
  • Post offices

That means that gun owners aren’t allowed to conceal carry on the premises of the listed locations. For a more exhaustive list, click here.

The sheriff’s office stated that while Florida residents can enjoy this new freedom, they should remember to be responsible with their firearms.

“Learn how to use your firearm so that you are proficient with it. Make sure you keep it stored so that kids can’t access it. Don’t leave it in your car where thieves can break in and steal it. And most importantly, when you are carrying it or using it, always follow the law,” MCSO wrote on Facebook.

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About the Author:

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.