If you're like me, you’ve seen the internet ads claiming that you can get your Florida Concealed Carry Permit online by watching a quick video. I was curious as to how this was possible and could it really allow me to carry a firearm legally in the State of Florida?
What I found?...It is a BIG MISCONCEPTION.
When you take an online course you are applying for a Virginia Non-Resident Concealed Carry permit. Virginia is one of the only States that accepts an online training course as an acceptable training method to get a concealed carry permit. The websites that offer an Online Concealed Carry training are very vague about the type of permit you will be receiving and your ability to carry your firearm across the country. I have had several customers come take our class after learning they did not qualify to carry a concealed firearm in the State of Florida with the online training they signed up for. Even worse, it’s clearly stated that the online course is NON-REFUNDABLE.
If you take an online concealed weapons class you will be applying for a Virginia Non-Resident carry permit. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture’s website, the State of Florida does not honor Virginia non-resident permits under Florida’s reciprocity provision.
See screen-shot below from the State of Florida or
I frequently get asked about the process of selling a firearm through a private sale. Here are some important rules and tips to keep you legal and safe.
The State of Florida requires that if you're going to transfer ownership of a firearm through a private sale you follow the following rules.
Rule #1 - Identification Requirements
The buyer and the seller must possess a valid government issued ID from the State of Florida.
Rule #2 - Minimum Age Requirements
The buyer must meet the minimum age requirement for the firearm type being transferred.
Pistol / Revolver - 21
Shotgun (No Shoulder Stock) - 21
Shotgun (w/ Shoulder Stock) - 18
Rifle - 18
Rules #3 - Is the buyer a prohibited person?
To the best of the seller's knowledge the buyer is not prohibited from possessing a firearm.
That's it as long as you follow the legal requirements listed above your well within your rights to sell your firearm. However privately selling a firearm can be dangerous, so here are some helpful tips to keep you safe.
Tip #1 - Make the trade in a public place.
The first firearm I purchased was through a private sale. I met the seller online and after some negotiating we decided to meet. As you can imagine I was a little nervous. I mean this guy knows that I have $600 cash and I'm not even sure he has the gun. I was supposed to meet the seller in a Starbucks parking lot. I figured it was a public place and it should be ok. When I arrived I couldn’t find the seller. “I'm in the alley behind the Starbucks” the seller said via text message. I proceeded to the alley where the seller opened a bag to show me the shotgun. I gave him the cash and got out of their as fast as I could. It was like a scene out of a movie. I have never made a purchase like that again. I choose the location like a gun show, gun store or very public parking lot.
Tip #2 - Use a Bill of Sale Document
If the firearm you're selling is ever stolen or used in a crime, a firearms trace will link the weapon back to you. A bill of sale will help you prove who you sold the firearm too. Here is the bill of sale that I use, you can download it here.
Tip #3 - Verify the Firearm isn't Stolen
The State of Florida has a website that allows you to see if a firearm has been reported stolen or not.
Simply type in the serial number of the firearm and if the search results say “No Records Found” your good to proceed with the sale. However if the search results list a detective name and phone number you should walk away from the transaction as safely as possible.
Tip #4 - Take a Friend with You
Private sales can be very dangerous. Take a friend for backup.
Tip #4 - Be ready to walk away
If the situation doesn’t look or feel right, be ready to walk away. Many years ago I was meeting a buyer in a very public parking lot. When the buyer arrived and stepped out of his vehicle. I quickly realized that this is not a person I wanted to sell a firearm to. It was the face tattoo that tipped me off.
Tip #5 - Must have a
One of the tricks I like to use is to only buy or sell a firearm to individuals who have a valid Florida concealed carry permit . If the buyer or seller has a CWP I know they have passed an FBI background check and they are not a prohibited person. This will reduce the pool of potential buyers or sellers but it will make for a much safer transaction. Personally if the buyer doesn’t have a concealed carry permit , I walk away.
Don’t send someone money without seeing the firearm in person.
Don't allow people to know where you live or work.
Don't get suckered by a deal too good to be true
Their are lots of scam artists posting amazing firearm deals online. They tell you to act quickly before it's too late. Don't buy into this. Firearms have very little margin, so if you find a huge price difference between top sellers there's a reason.
During a recent Concealed Weapons Permit class, at our Brandon, FL location, a student, Roberto, mentioned that he recently purchased a firearm online and was having some problems with it. I asked him to bring the firearm and I would help him diagnose the problem.
The firearm he purchased was an American Tactical Imports 1911. The seller claimed the firearm was brand new and in good working order. Roberto was excited about his new gun, so he headed out to the range. After the first shot, Roberto was surprised that the pistol had jammed. He cleared the malfunction and released the slide forward. “What the hell is that?” Roberto said as he noticed the recoil spring hanging out of the frame.
I disassembled the firearm and was surprised to find that this was not a new gun. The internals were modified and polished in an attempt to repair the firearm. I also noticed that the recoil assembly was missing a spring and a retention pin. I believe this is what caused the problem that Roberto was experiencing.
A Common Mistake
Many time new shooters who attempt to purchase used firearm fall victim to a scum bag seller. These sellers know that new shooters don’t have a clue what to look for or what a fair price is for a used gun. Roberto purchased a broken firearm for $425 when he could have purchased the exact same firearm from a local dealer for $459 brand new. I feel bad for Roberto. It's a hard lesson to learn. My challenge to you is to learn from his mistake. I purchase my firearms online brand new then I have them transferred to a local dealer for pick up. This gets me the best possible deal on price while avoiding the pitfalls of a private sale.
To learn more about Flordia's laws on private sales and how to avoid making mistakes, read my article Florida Rules on Private Sales
Attila immigrated to the United States over 25 years ago from a country where firearm possession is restricted to law enforcement only. Luckily, Attila's good friend was a police officer. This provided him with a rare opportunity to shoot and develop a passion for firearms. Fast forward 25 years, Attila is living in Florida and getting a concealed weapons permit , because well the world seems to be losing its mind. I had a really interesting conversation with Attila about his view on stopping the violence and gun control.
"I don't understand why people want to take away guns, just look at the facts. In places where citizens can own firearms crime goes down when guns are restricted crime goes up."
Attila said in a thick Hungarian accent. I think it's pretty funny that people from the other side of the planet get it but our politicians can't seem to grasp the concept that guns save lives. Anyway back to why I think Attila lied to me. In the picture above notice the grouping on the red X, that's 15 shots from a Glock 19. He claims that he hasn't shot a gun in 25 years. What I think is that Attila is John Wicks counterpart from Hungry.
Attila shot a Custom Glock 19, S&W 637, Glock 43 and a Walther P22 with a Huntertown Arms silencer. His accuracy was amazing. However, because of his massive hands, he didn't like shooting the Glock 43 or the S&W 637.
Attila did make a couple of common mistakes.
Mistake #1:The biggest mistake Attila consistently made was leaving his finger on the trigger after the firearm was empty. We reviewed how important it is to immediately remove your finger from the trigger when you're not ready to fire.
Mistake #2:When you hear Bang, Bang, Click what should you do? We should keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction and count to 30 seconds. If that round is a hang fire we want the bullet to go into a safe direction. What we should not do, especially on a revolver is pull the trigger again. By doing this you move the potential hang fire out of line of the barrel, creating a very dangerous situation.
The awesome thing about Attila is that he noticed his mistakes and acknowledged his mistakes before I could get the words out of my mouth. He is a fast learner and probably the most organized student I've ever had. Attila thank you for trusting me to teach you firearm safety and the basics of shooting.
5 Items you can never Conceal Carry unless you want to end up in prison with hard-ass Jimmy :)
The State of Florida is pretty awesome when it comes to Concealed Carry. You can almost Carry any type of firearm or weapon you can imagine. Here is a list of 5 items you can never Conceal Carry even if you have a Florida Concealed Weapons Permit.
Machine Gun - means any firearm which shoots or is designed to shoot more than one projectile with one pull of the trigger.
Short Barreled Shotgun - means a shotgun with a barrel less than 18” in length or has an overall length shorter than 26”.
Short Barreled Rifle - means any rifle with a barrel less than 16” in length or has an overall length shorter than 26”
Destructive Device - means any explosive device or explosive launching device.
Silencer or Suppressor - a device for reducing the noise emitted by a gun or other loud mechanism.
Most of these items are lawful for you to own and possess in Florida. The process is not as simple as cutting the barrel on your shotgun. ATF has created an extensive application process to purchase or manufacture one of these items.
Hope this helps and you don't end up in prison! Remember Stay Safe & Help Others!
Trisha attended our Concealed Carry permit course in July and I can't tell you how nervous she was. Trisha wanted a carry permit due to threats she has been receiving from an ex-boyfriend. "I've never handled a gun before and really didn't want to come, but my friend is forcing me," she said to me before the class started. By the end of the class, I could tell her anxiety was gone.
Check us this great review Trisha left us on Google!
"Let me start off by saying I am petrified to even hold a gun. Recently I had a crazy ex which made me scared to death. My friend gave me moral support to go to this class. I never in a million years thought I would do something like this. Ryan was the NRA instructor who made me feel comfortable. He was funny and made the class enjoyable very informative. Ryan made it interesting by sharing his personal experiences and his "what if" situations. The videos Ryan shared helped put some of the info into perspective. At the end of the class, he took the time and give me personal attention on how to hold a gun. I can't wait to attend a private lesson with him I highly recommend this class." Trisha
On Monday Trisha and I met at a local gun range for a little private instruction . As you can imagine she was nervous. When I asked her to pick up the gun she started shaking a little. I was very surprised at what came next. Trisha was extremely accurate in her shooting. It blew my mind, and even though she didn't stop shaking. She was consistently shooting 2" groups at 10 yards with a Walther P22. I think Trisha may have been lying to me about her previous experience shooting. She claims that she has never shot a gun before. I think she is an undercover CIA agent pretending to be a new be. I guess I will never know.
Here is a video of Trisha loading, shooting and clearing a Walther P22 like a pro.
Do I need a Concealed Carry Permit to buy a firearm?
The simple answer is no you do not. To buy a firearm in the State of Florida all you need is a valid government issued ID ( Driver's License, Identification Card) or a combination of ID to prove:
You only need a concealed carry permit if you're planning on concealing your firearm on or about your person. Which means in your waistband, purse or backpack. If you do not have a concealed weapons permit you will have a three-day wait. The only difference with a concealed carry permit you will not have to wait the three full business days for your firearm, you will be able to take it with you right after you purchase it. You can read more about the Florida three-day waiting rule by reading our Why is there a Three Day wait to buy a firearm article. For a detailed explanation of the process to buy a firearm along with ID requirements check out his post How to buy a firearm in Florida.
If you would like to get your Florida Concealed Weapons Permit, click here to see our online concealed carry class schedule.
Remember, Stay Safe & Help Others!
Take our Florida concealed carry class! it's only $49 and we teach classes weekly in Tampa, Largo, and Brandon. The State of Florida requires you to take a class by an NRA Instructor before you can apply for your permit (that's the part we do).
Here are the two options to submit your application.
Regional Office- Scheduling an Appointment
I believe this is the easiest way to submit your application, however, it does cost a little more money. I would also like to note that they're very efficient and you will be in and out in 15 minutes...they should get the Driver's Licensing place right?
The first step is to schedule your appointment by going to CWP Appointment . The wait times for your appointment will be one to two weeks, however, some of the offices will allow walk-ins.
At your Appointment:
First, you will complete your application on a computer from the 1980’s. It's a pretty basic application, however, there are some key points I want you to be aware of.
Your social security number is optional in this document. My word of advice is to list your social security number. It makes the background check a lot smoother. You will also be asked to answer some questions which can be confusing for some people. If you get stuck, just ask for clarification from one of the representatives.
Second, you will be electronically fingerprinted. So if you have outstanding warrants for kidnapping a goat or anything similar. I would clear that up before proceeding.
Third, It's picture time. Make sure you look nice for this part. I was wearing and brushed off my haircut for the last three months and didn’t think for a minute they would ask me to remove it. Well...I was wrong and I look like a drug addict in my picture.
Fourth, Pay your filing fee. If you're submitting your application for your concealed weapons permit at a Department of Agriculture office the processing fee will be $102. If you're at a Regional Office, like the Tax Collector or Clerk of the Court, the fee will be $124. I'm not sure why but this is the Government we're talking about. Remember most offices will accept all payment forms except cash.
Fifth, You will need a couple of additional documents. A valid driver's license or ID card, a copy of your concealed carry class certificate you received at the end of your class. If you are Active Duty Military or veteran you will want to bring your DD form 214 or CAC card. This will expedite your application.
It never fails. When I’m super excited about something it takes forever. One cool thing is that the application office will provide you with an Application Control Number which you can use to check the status of your Florida concealed carry permit application online. Use the link below Check Permit Status.
I find this process to a pain, but it is the best option if driving to a regional office isn't an option.
First, you must complete the concealed weapons application and have it certified by a notary. Your local bank or Post Office can help you with this.
Second, it's time to get fingerprinted by a law enforcement officer. Your local Police or Sheriff office can take care of this for you for a small fee. Usually around $20.
Third, You will need a passport style photo taken of yourself. Any photography studio or Walgreens can do this for you for around $12-$17.
Fourth, You will need a couple of additional documents. A copy of your driver's license or ID card, a copy of your concealed carry class certificate. If you are Active Duty Military or veteran you will need a copy of your DD form 214 or CAC card. This will expedite your application.
Finally, you need to submit the above documents to the Department of Agriculture. Along with a check or money order in the amount of $60, this is your filing fee. You will also need to include a copy of your concealed carry class certificate . It's never smart to send the original.
The snail mail option is great if you live out of state or out of reasonable driving distance from a regional office. This process requires a lot of running around, but it's important to choose the best option for you.
I hope this helps clarify the process of submitting your application through the State. If you have additional questions please feel free to comment below or contact Tampa Carry by email at Classes@TampaCarry.com or you can call or text at 813-545-1798. If you are interested in getting your Florida Concealed Weapons Permit , please click here to see our online concealed carry class schedule.
Remember, Stay Safe & Help Others!
Today I headed out to the range with Jason. Jason attended one of our Concealed Weapons Permit Courses in Tampa. He has been shooting a few times and is extremely competent in firearm safety. What he needed help with was improving his accuracy.
Jason brought a Walther PPS 9mm and a Smith & Wesson BodyGuard .380 ACP. I gave Jason a few basic tips and asked him to fire two mags down range so I could watch him.
Mistake #1 - Jerking the Trigger
What I noticed is that Jason has a tendency to jerk the trigger, this causes the round to impact randomly on the target. This is pretty common with newer shooters. Remember we want to pull the trigger slowly and smoothly to the rear until the trigger breaks. I also recommended that Jason practice taking up the slack in his trigger then aligning his sights and finally pulling slightly until the round discharges. Taking up the slack refers to pulling the trigger until you can feel resistance, this is usually half way. By doing this you're reducing the distance that you must pull the trigger for each shot, therefore reducing the possibility of pulling the sights off target.
Mistake #2 - Lowering the Gun Between Shots
After every shot Jason likes to lower the firearm, losing sight picture, to see where his round impacted. This is never something we want to do. When I'm shooting my goal is to pull the trigger, allow the recoil to push the firearm up and then fall right back on target. This allows me to make very quick follow-up shots and maintain a high level of accuracy.
Mistake #3 - Closing One Eye
I didn't realize Jason was doing this until I reviewed the footage from our time together. Its natural for people to try to close one eye when shooting. However, by doing this, you're losing 50% of your vision and I a self-defense situation I need every advantage I can get. I know it can be a little hard to get used to but you need to push through to develop your eye's ability to focus.
Getting your Florida Concealed Weapons Permit is a fairly simple process. The State of Florida is called a shall Issue State, this mean that Florida has to Issue you a Carry Permit as long as you meet the following basic qualifications. Pretty cool, right?
You must complete a firearm safety course taught by an NRA certified instructor .
During this course you must discharge at least one round and demonstrate that you can safely handle a firearm. Upon completion of your course you will receive a certificate of training that must be provided to the State of Florida.
Not a Prohibited Person
1. You must be at least 21 years old or if you're in the military or veteran discharged under honorable conditions you can be any age.
2. You don't suffer from any physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a firearm
3. You're not a convicted felon
4. For the 3 years preceding the date of your application for the permit.
You have not been committed for drug abuse.
You have not been found guilty of any drug crime.
Convicted of DUI two or more times.
You have not had a withheld adjudication on any crime of violence constituting a misdemeanor.
You are not a chronic or habitual user of alcohol.
Committed for alcohol treatment pursuant to Chapter 396 of Florida Statutes.
We're convicted of using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
You have been deemed a habitual offender of the disorderly intoxication laws by 3 convictions within 12 months you are prohibited to apply for 3 years.
You have not been adjudicated an incapacitated person under F.S. 744.331, or have waited five years after such incapacity was removed by court order.
You have not been committed to a mental institution.
You have not been convicted or withheld adjudication on any felony. (Learn More)
You have not been convicted or withheld adjudication on any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. (Learn More)
There is no injunction currently in force that restrains you from committing either repeat or domestic violence.
You are not prohibited from purchase or possession of a firearm by Florida or Federal Law.
Plead guilty instead of no contest to any felony, or to any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
If you have a criminal indictment or information for a felony pending against you.
If, while your application is pending, you have been arrested for any “dangerous crimes” (Learn More).
That's it. Its pretty easy to get your Concealed Weapons permit in Florida . Once you complete the training requirement you will have to submit your application to the State. To learn more about what happens after your Concealed Weapons Permit Course view this article. If you have any questions or need clarification on a portion of this article, please leave a comment below.
Remember, Stay Safe & Help Others!
Hearing a story of violence or an innocent person being victimized seems to be commonplace these days, but rarely do these stories occur so close to home.
Recently I had a student who wanted to get her FL Concealed Weapons Permit , I asked her why she wanted to carry concealed. The story that followed left everyone in the room with an eerie feeling. Here is the story
A few years ago I was in my home excited for a relaxing evening at home when I hear a knock on the door. I opened the door to find a young well-dressed man, who was looking for someone. I recognized the name as a friend of my mothers. I informed the man that I hadn't seen her today and I closed the door. To my surprise, I heard another knock a few minutes later so I approached the door and asked: "Who is it". It was the same man asking if my mother's friend was back yet. I opened the door to tell this man that no she is not here and leave me alone. When I opened the door six men forced their way into my home. I've never been so scared in my life. One of the men was pointing a gun at me and telling me to get on the floor. I ran to a dresser drawer and grabbed my boyfriend's, who is a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy, firearm. When I pulled the pistol from the drawer the six men were running out of my home as fast as they entered. I was very scared but happy that I had a firearm to protect me.
Stories of home invasions are far too common in Tampa Bay. I'm very happy that this woman is ok and that she had a firearm easily accessible during this incident. But I think the situation could have been avoided altogether. Part of the home invasion strategy is to trick the homeowner into opening the front door and they've come up with some pretty creating stories to get you to do this. Some of the most creative are "Have you seen my dog?" "I have a UPS delivery" and of course "Have you seen this person?". I ask my wife to never open the door unless we know the person on the other side. Keep the door shut and talk thru the window. I believe this does two things to the mind of a potential bad guy. First, it tells them your home. The last thing I want is for some scum bag to think my home is empty and attempt a burglary while my wife and kids are inside. Second, I believe that by not opening the door you present yourself as a hardened target. Hopefully, the bad guy will see you as more work and risk than its worth and move on.
Having a firearm for home defense is important for the safety and protection of your home, but a firm believer that most dangerous situations can be avoided if we are aware of our surroundings and vigilant. You need to know that bad people exist, they are around us every day looking for easy victims. Make yourself look like a difficult target. Keep your head on a swivel and remember peoples intentions are not always what they seem.
If you have a similar story, please share it with me in the comments below. I would love to write an article about your story of survival.
Tampa Carry | Concealed Carry Permit