|The State of Florida allows for its qualified citizens, as defined in Florida State Statue 790.06, to conceal weapons including handguns, electronic weapons (stun guns), and knives. The question regarding where a citizen who has a concealed carry permit can lawfully bring their weapon is one that comes up frequently. No citizen or concealed carry permit holder can enter any State or Federally ran building including polling stations, public schools, government meetings, or career centers with a weapon. Buildings which sell alcohol for the purpose on consumption on the premises do not allow for the carry of concealed or non-concealed weapons in addition to any place where carrying firearms is deemed illegal by Federal Law. So now that you know where you can and cannot bring a weapon, you’ll want to know when you can lawfully use it to defend yourself.|
A firearm in Florida is considered a deadly weapon, even if unloaded and pointed at someone, which means that any time you decide to take the weapon out you are using deadly force according to the State. That being said Florida allows for the lawful use of deadly force when you are trying to protect yourself from serious injury or bodily harm and when trying to prevent a forcible felony such as rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping. If you are within your house or your place of business the “castle doctrine” allows one to use deadly force on an intruder. A similar rule applies when you are in your vehicle in that “a person has no duty to retreat in their lawfully occupied vehicle against a person who was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering or had unlawfully and forcefully entered an occupied vehicle or had unlawfully and forcefully removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the occupied vehicle.” The general rule is that if there is not reason to believe that your aggressor could not be stopped by any other form of deterrence other than deadly force then deadly force cannot be lawfully used. You must also feel as though unless deadly force is used that aggressor would inflict serious bodily harm or use deadly force against you. If you see another person in trouble you may use deadly force only if you put yourself in their shoes, and the previous rules for the use of deadly force are met. This is only a more simplified discussion on concealed carry law and for more information the statute, Florida State Statute 790.06, is publicly available online. If you have any questions regarding law on this subject or need a criminal defense lawyer for any reason, please call our office at 904-868-5665. We will be happy to help you.