Tallahassee Guns & Weapons Offenses Attorney
Although the Second Amendment generally guarantees an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, that does not mean there are no criminal laws governing the use of guns and weapons. To the contrary, Florida law prohibits many groups of people from owning weapons outright. And even when a weapon is lawfully acquired, if it is used to commit another criminal offense, the suspect may face more serious charges than if no weapon was involved.
At Luke Newman, P.A., we represent people throughout the Tallahassee area who are facing guns and weapons charges. Our Tallahassee gun crime attorney understands the severity of such charges and will zealously represent you in court. You have certain constitutional rights that the courts are bound to respect, and we can help ensure you are afforded due process under the law.
Are You Banned From Owning a Gun in Florida?
A Florida resident must have a license from the state’s Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services to carry a concealed firearm or concealed weapon in public. Florida is a “shall issue” state, which means a person is entitled to a license provided they meet certain training requirements and do not fall within a category of statutorily ineligible persons. In Florida, the following persons may not legally own or carry a firearm:
- any person under the age of 21;
- any person who suffers from a “physical infirmity” that prevents them from safely handling a weapon, or anyone who has been committed to a mental health facility within the past 3 years;
- any person convicted of a felony;
- any person who has been convicted of certain drug-related crimes within the past 3 years or been committed to a facility to receive treatment for drug abuse;
- any person found to be a chronic and habitual user of drugs or alcohol; or
- any person subject to a domestic violence protective order that bars them from owning a firearm.
If you fall within any of these categories and are found in possession of a weapon, you can be charged with a crime, and in many cases a felony.
Using a Gun or Weapon to Commit Another Crime
While a person who is lawfully entitled to own a weapon may possess and use a firearm for self-defense, that is not a license to commit other crimes using a gun. Indeed, many Florida criminal statutes include enhanced penalties when a firearm or similar deadly weapon is used–or even exhibited–during the commission of a felony. For example, trespassing on private property is normally a misdemeanor in Florida. But if the alleged trespasser is “armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon,” then prosecutors can charge the trespasser with a third-degree felony, even if no gun is ever fired.
This is just one of many examples demonstrating how serious a gun or weapons charge can be for an accused suspect. And if you are facing such charges, you need to work with an experienced Tallahassee guns and weapons lawyer who will look out for your best interests. Contact Luke Newman, P.A., today to schedule a consultation with a member of our criminal defense team.