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Your concealed weapons permit might not keep you out of trouble

When you received your concealed weapons permit, did you read the fine print? Many circumstances exist that prohibit you from carrying a concealed weapon despite your permit. In addition, your permit doesn't necessarily give you the right to use your weapon without restriction.

Florida takes carrying a weapon seriously. One of the state's primary duties is to protect its citizenry. On the one hand, that means that you may carry a concealed weapon if you meet the legal qualifications. On the other hand, others must also receive certain protections from you.

Does a concealed weapons permit only cover firearms?

No. This might surprise you, but more weapons than just firearms require a permit to carry under concealment. Under the Jack Hagler Self-defense Act, the following weapons other than handguns require a permit:

  • Electronic weapons or devices
  • Knives
  • Billies
  • Tear gas guns

If you want to carry an electronic device or weapon, you may want to find out whether it falls within the definition in the act before assuming that you can carry it without a permit.

Where can't I carry a concealed weapon?

Some of the more common places where Florida law prohibits you from carrying a concealed weapon include any locations that meet the following definitions:

  • Polling places
  • Elementary, middle or high schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Highway patrol, sheriff or police stations
  • Detention facilities such as jails and prisons
  • Courthouses
  • Courtrooms
  • Government meeting places or buildings
  • Establishments that serve alcohol
  • Technical centers
  • Airports
  • Federal buildings

Be aware that this list does not cover every place the statutes prohibit you to carry your weapon. In addition, some locations have additional rules regarding weapons above and beyond the statutes.

Guidelines for using your concealed weapon

Even though the state allows you to carry a concealed weapon, you must still comply with all other laws regarding its use. Using lethal force could cause you trouble with the law. If you have questions or concerns about carrying a concealed weapon and under what circumstances you can use it, it might benefit you to discuss those issues with an attorney. Better to be prepared than end up arrested.

If you do end up under arrest because you somehow allegedly violated the concealed carry laws or used your weapon, you will more than likely need help. A mistake shouldn't ruin the rest of your life. You have rights and may have options. Having a legal advocate at your side could make all the difference.

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