Permitless carry takes effect in Florida Saturday, but it’s not a free pass to carry a gun anywhere

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Starting Saturday, law-abiding Floridians aged 21 and up who are legally allowed to own a gun will be able to carry their firearms concealed without a state-issued license.


But there are still some important limitations in place, including a long list of places you still can’t carry a gun.

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“Most of the places are pretty common sense,” Ziadeh Farhat with Green Acres Sporting Goods said.

Farhat told Action News Jax the new law didn’t change where you are allowed to carry.

Before the law change, concealed carry permit holders were required to take a course that helped informed them of the limitations.

Read: ‘Once in a generation:’ Florida lawmakers deliver on virtually all of Governor’s policy asks

“You can’t play dumb with the law. So, if you’re not gonna go through the class you’re really gonna have to educate yourself on the places you can and can’t carry,” Farhat said.

Prohibited locations include police stations, government meetings, courthouses, schools, bars airport terminals, sporting events, career centers, polling places and college and university facilities.

Businesses and religious institutions can also prohibit firearms on their premises, though failure to comply with private restrictions does not constitute a violation of state law.

Even when carrying in a permitted location, Farhat noted the weapon must be hidden from public view.

“You can’t just brandish it or pull it out for any reason,” Farhat said.

Self-defense would be the only time the firearm could be drawn or brandished.

Related Story: Florida lawmakers unveil so-called ‘constitutional carry’ bill

And Farhat said even though you don’t have to take a firearm safety course, he still highly recommends it.

“You have to be safe because guns are tools. They’re not toys. It’s serious business,” Farhat said.

Farhat added he actually still recommends getting a concealed carry permit.

It comes with some benefits.

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One: It eliminates the three-day waiting period for gun purchases and two: the permit is recognized by and allows you to carry concealed in most other states.

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