How do I know if it is legal for me to purchase a gun?

There are federal requirements that everyone in every state must meet, as well as individual state requirements that must be met for individuals in each state. Here are some of those guidelines below:

There are ten categories of persons who are not eligible to purchase or possess a firearm under federal law (Title 18, United States Code 922(g)(1)-(9), (n)). They are:

  1. Convicted of a felony (or equivalent)
  2. Fugitive from justice
  3. Unlawful user or addicted to a controlled substance
  4. Adjudicated mentally defective or involuntarily committed to treatment
  5. Illegal alien
  6. Dishonorable discharge from the US Armed Forces
  7. Renounced United States citizenship
  8. Active protection order (restraining order, injunction for protection, etc.)
  9. Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  10. Under indictment or information for a felony

In addition to federal law, Florida law prohibits persons who:

  • Are adjudicated delinquent of a crime that would have been a felony if committed by an adult until the age of 24 or until record is expunged.
  • Receive “Adjudication Withheld” on any felony or on a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and three years has not yet lapsed since the completion of sentencing provisions.
  • Were recently arrested for a potentially disqualifying crime which has not been dismissed or disposed of in court.

What are the requirements to purchase a firearm in Florida?

  • Must be 21 years of age. Rifles and shotguns may be purchased by a person who is at least 18 when that person is a law enforcement officer or correctional officer as defined in F.S. 943.10 or service member as defined in F.S. 250.01.
  • Must be a Florida resident to purchase a handgun. Long guns may be purchased by persons who are residents of other states so long as the sale complies with applicable laws in the purchaser’s state of residence.
  • Legal permanent resident aliens who are Florida residents may purchase a firearm and must provide a valid alien registration number. Non-resident aliens visiting Florida must present a border crossing number (I-94) and a valid exception document.
  • Florida does not require a permit to purchase a firearm nor is there a permit that exempts any person from the background check requirement.
  • There is a waiting period of three days, excluding weekends and state holidays, between purchase and delivery of all firearms. Individual counties and cities have the authority to enact local ordinances extending the waiting period to as much as five days. Please consult local ordinances for more detailed information.
  • There is no limit to the number of firearms that may be transferred in a single transaction. The transaction is considered complete once the dealer has completed and signed the ATF Form 4473. An additional transfer (whether minutes later, the next day, or the next month) requires an additional background check.


What is the process for purchasing a firearm in Florida from a licensed firearm dealer?

  • Fill out the ATF Form 4473 provided by the firearm dealer.
  • You will be required to provide a valid government issued photo identification.
  • The dealer will submit your personally identifying information to the Firearm Purchase Program at FDLE.
  • An analyst will perform the required queries and compare responses to your demographics (name, race, sex, date of birth, etc.) and determine your eligibility to purchase a firearm according to state and federal law.
  • The analyst will provide a transaction number (queue number) and a decision (approve, non-approve, or decision pending).

Do I need a concealed carry permit to purchase a firearm?

A concealed carry permit is not required to purchase a handgun in the state of Florida. However, Florida Statute 790.0655 (1)(a) states that there is a 3 day waiting period (not counting legal holidays or weekends) between the date of the purchase and date of delivery for buyers without a concealed carry permit.

Buyers with a concealed carry permit have no waiting period after passing a mandatory background check.