Florida Hits 1 Million Concealed Weapons Permits
Florida officially hit the one million milestone for concealed weapons permits as predicted last week by Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam, whose office oversees the program.
As of this morning, there were 1,000,645 active concealed weapons permits in Florida, according to Putnam’s office. The million mark comes amid national scrutiny of state and federal gun laws in the wake of Friday’s shooting rampage by gunman Adam Lanza, who killed 20 first graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. Authorities say Lanza also killed his mother as well as himself.
Some gun rights proponents, including state Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, want to allow people with concealed weapons permits and extra training to bring the guns into schools. They argue that armed personnel on school campuses would make schools safer.
With about one in 14 eligible Floridians holding the permits, Florida now has the highest number of concealed weapons permits of any state in the nation, according to Putnam. More than 62,000 Palm Beach County residents hold the permits.
Carrying a Concealed Firearm (CCF) or Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW)
Unless you have a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) carrying a concealed firearm other than on your own property or the property of your business is a third degree felony in Florida punishable by up to five years imprisonment. [Florida Statute 790.01]. A similar provision applies to other weapons that are not firearms, however, the punishment is a first degree misdemeanor. The most common arrest for carrying a concealed firearm in Florida is when a hand gun is placed under a seat in a car without the hand gun being placed inside a snapped holster. This is generally against the law because the firearm is not “securely encased”.
When is Gun Possession Illegal?
- Someone knowingly has in his or her possession a firearm
- Not a legally licensed gun holder – this includes those without a valid permit, on probation, or have some other restriction that does not allowed them to possess a gun
- The gun generally doesn’t have to be loaded but it must be capable of discharging ammunition
- Often different rules apply to when it is permissible to carry a gun in public versus having a firearm in one’s home.
Factors That Increase Punishments
- Possession on or near school grounds
- Probation or parole terms forbid you to posses a gun
- Community attitudes toward gun possession and gun violence
- Aggravating or mitigating circumstances
- Prior convictions
West Palm Beach Weapons Charges Defense Attorney
At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A. in West Palm Beach, we represent people arrested on weapons charges, including:
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Improper exhibition of a weapon
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon
- Possession of a weapon by a convicted felon
- Firing or shooting an object into an occupied building
In Florida, many weapons charges are subject to mandatory minimum prison sentences of at least three years. Even if you are not facing prison time, a conviction on a weapons charge could have a very negative effect on your life. Most employers do not want to hire an employee with a criminal record. Florida landlords conduct background checks of prospective renters, so a conviction could also affect your ability to rent an apartment.
Many weapons cases can be resolved without a criminal record if your lawyer has you immediately perform community service, complete a weapons class, and apologize to the victim (if there was one). It is essential that the state’s charging attorney understand who you really are, while providing evidence that shows you are much more than what the law enforcement agent makes you out to be.
If you are not guilty of the charge, lawyer Andrew Stine can attack the government’s case. There are many defenses an experienced lawyer can use in a weapons case, including self defense, false allegation, false identification, entrapment, and improper search and seizure of the weapon. In some cases, the act you are charged with may not even be illegal. For example, if the butt of a handgun sticks out of your pocket and is visible, you cannot be charged with concealing a weapon.
Being proactive in a weapons case can often make the difference between facing felony or misdemeanor charges, or whether any charges are filed at all.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.