Aurora Theater Shooting Prompts Increase in Gun Sales

As the country continues to deal with the tragic movie theater shooting that left 12 dead and 58 injured, the debate surrounding gun control laws intensifies. Some believe this incident is merely more proof that gun control laws should tighten up and become stricter.

Conversely – and also not surprising – is the fact that background checks for those wishing to buy guns have spiked more than 41 percent in Colorado since the morning of the shooting – thus creating a situation in which lawmakers must walk the tightrope between keeping guns off the street but at the same time allowing law-abiding citizens to purchase guns for their own sense of security.

Florida Gun Laws

I don’t think it can be disputed that this most recent shooting has shaken the nation’s sense of security to its very core. But, as thousands rush to purchase guns for protection, it is important to know what the gun laws actually are in your particular state.

Here in Florida, the number of conceal and carry permit holders has been rising for some time, even before the most recent deadly shooting. In fact, according to Florida’s Department of Agriculture, there were 47,998 gun permits issued in May 2012 – compared to only 26,566 issued in May 2011.

While many Floridians believe they have a right to carry a weapon, it is important to note that carrying a concealed weapon without a permit may not only be punished by itself, but may also risk the carrier’s ability to qualify for a permit in the future.

Generally, in order to qualify for a Florida concealed carry permit, an applicant must:

  • Be a U.S. resident and citizen
  • Be 21-years-old or older
  • Be seeking to carry a concealed weapon for lawful self-defense
  • Demonstrate adequate competence with a gun, for example by completing an approved firearms safety course
  • Not suffer from any infirmity that prevents safe operation of a gun
  • Not suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction which would impair their faculties
  • Not have been committed for substance abuse or convicted of various controlled substance laws within three years of application

In addition to these prerequisites, there are various other administrative requirements – such as fingerprinting, application fees, photographs, etc. – and other legal requirements – such as not being adjudicated as an incapacitated person or being committed to mental institution. However, probably one of the biggest restrictions on being eligible for a conceal and carry permit is for those who have been convicted of a prior felony.

Being found in possession of a gun with a prior felony conviction can lead to harsh penalties in Florida – anywhere from three to five years in prison. Ultimately, the laws in Florida surrounding gun possession can be quite complex and difficult to navigate. If you have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, or unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction, it is important to contact an experienced Florida gun possession defense attorney in order to be advised of your rights and options.