Felony Criminal Possession of a Firearm Defense Attorney in Pensacola, Florida
Many crimes involve a firearm in some capacity. In 2020, 79% of all murders in Florida were committed with a firearm. Additionally, homicides involving a firearm jumped 21% from 2019 to 2020. As a result, the penalties for felony criminal possession of a firearm in Florida can be serious.
At Panhandle Defense Firm, Tom McGuire takes the time to go above and beyond for you as if you were family. His experience working as a criminal prosecutor and in the public defender’s office helps him to go above and beyond his clients’ needs. Panhandle Defense Firm proudly serves the Pensacola, Florida, community. He also goes the extra mile for folks throughout Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties, including Milton, Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach.
What Is Criminal Possession of a Firearm in Florida?
In Florida, criminal possession of a firearm refers to possessing a firearm by an individual who is not legally permitted to do so. This offense can be charged as a felony, and the severity of the charge will depend on various factors, such as the type of firearm involved and the individual’s criminal history.
Under Florida law, several circumstances may result in criminal possession of a firearm charge, including:
Possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. In Florida, individuals convicted of a felony are prohibited from possessing firearms.
Possessing a firearm as a minor. Minors under the age of 18 are generally prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida, except in certain limited circumstances.
Possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. If an individual possesses a firearm while committing a crime, such as a robbery or assault, they may face additional criminal charges for possessing a firearm.
Possessing a firearm while under a domestic violence restraining order. Individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders are generally prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida.
The following individuals may not possess a firearm in Florida:
Individuals convicted of a felony offense are generally prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida.
Minors under 18 are generally prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida, except for hunting or shooting events under adult supervision.
Individuals who have been adjudicated as mentally defective, committed to a mental institution, or found by a court to be a danger to themselves or others due to a mental condition are generally prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida.
Individuals who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders are generally prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida.
Individuals who are not U.S. citizens and who are in the country illegally are generally prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida.
Individuals dishonorably discharged from the military are generally prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida.
Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine ineligibility to possess a firearm is always a good rule of thumb.
What Qualifies as a “Firearm?”
In Florida, the term “firearm” is broadly defined to include any weapon designed to expel a projectile by using gunpowder or other explosive material. This category can include handguns, rifles, shotguns, and other similar weapons.
Under Florida law, “firearm” also includes any part of a firearm, including the frame or receiver, and any ammunition designed for use with a firearm.
It’s important to note that certain types of firearms may be subject to additional regulations or restrictions under federal and state law. For example, machine guns and other fully automatic firearms are generally prohibited under federal law. At the same time, certain types of rifles may be subject to restrictions under state law.
Is It Possible to Transport Firearms to Other States?
If an individual is legally permitted to possess firearms in their home state, they may generally transport firearms through Florida while traveling to another state, provided the firearms are transported in compliance with federal law.
Under federal law, individuals not prohibited from possessing firearms may transport unloaded firearms in a locked container during interstate travel, provided that the firearms are inaccessible from the vehicle’s passenger compartment. Ammunition must also be stored separately from the firearm and in a location not readily accessible to the driver or passengers.
The Difference Between Possession and Carrying
Possession of a firearm refers to having it in one’s control or custody, such as storing it in a safe or keeping it in a desk drawer at home. Possession can be legal or illegal, depending on the circumstances, such as whether the individual is legally permitted to possess firearms.
On the other hand, carrying a firearm generally refers to physically carrying a firearm, such as in a holster or concealed in a purse or backpack. Carrying a firearm in public can be legal or illegal, depending on various factors, such as whether the individual has a concealed carry permit or whether the firearm is carried in a manner prohibited by law.
Possible Penalties for Criminal Possession of a Firearm in Florida
In general, criminal possession of a firearm is a felony offense in Florida and can result in severe penalties, including:
up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for possession of a firearm during the commission of certain crimes, such as drug trafficking or burglary
up to life in prison for possession of a firearm by a violent career criminal or for certain other offenses
loss of the right to possess firearms in the future
Note that additional consequences of firearm convictions may include difficulties obtaining employment or housing.
Felony Criminal Possession of a Firearm Defense Attorney Serving Pensacola, Florida
At Panhandle Defense Firm, Tom McGuire puts himself in your shoes. He understands what it’s like to face firearm charges in Florida. Call today to get the best legal team on your side. A dedicated attorney is only a phone call away.