Man choosing new handgun at showcase in gun shop.

Is it Legal to Sell a Gun Privately in Florida?

You may have heard by word of mouth that guns are more easily acquired by private sale in Florida. However, there are several laws designed to restrict the process and protect the safety of Florida residents when trading firearms. If you do not know these regulations, you risk significant legal penalties. 

If you are wondering, “is it legal to sell a gun privately?” then you are in the right place for answers. Criminal defense attorney Mike G Law shares everything you need to know about Florida gun laws in this guide. This includes information on both the possession of particular firearms and initial sale.

How Does Florida Law Define Gun Possession and Sales

Listed below are the key legal restrictions you need to bear in mind regarding firearm possession.

Purchase and Possession 

You do not require a state permit to purchase a shotgun, handgun, or rifle in Florida. However, it is illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm in any capacity, including concealed. The only exception is if the felon in question has had their full civil rights restored. 


All open carrying is restricted in Florida unless explicitly covered by specific exceptions. Additionally, you cannot carry a concealed weapon without the appropriate license.

Duty to Retreat

There is no duty to retreat written into Florida law. This means that you are allowed to retaliate in self-defense. This even extends to the use of deadly force, provided that your life or the lives of others are in danger. 

What are the Requirements for Legal Gun Sales in Florida?

Gun laws within the state of Florida are not as strict as in other states. However, you still need to be careful when considering making a sale. It is entirely legal for individuals to buy privately, sell, or gift firearms to another individual, but restrictions apply

Here are the requirements for gun sales in Florida.

1. Proper Identification

Both you and the buyer must possess a valid identification document issued by the State of Florida. This could be a driver’s license or a state-issued identity card. 

2. Minimum Age Requirements

The state of Florida prohibits anyone under the age of 21 to sell or purchase a firearm. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 are, however, not prohibited from possessing a firearm. Additionally, the minimum age for the purchase of a firearm does not apply to shotguns and rifles purchased by those employed as law enforcement, correctional officers, or servicemembers.  

3. Resident Status

To sell or gift a handgun, you must be a resident of Florida. The purchase of long guns may be permitted if you are a resident of another state. However, this sale must abide by the restrictions of the buyer’s resident state.

4. Possession of Permit

You do not need to possess a permit to purchase a gun in Florida. However, a permit cannot make you exempt from background checks as it may in other states. 

5. Waiting Period

There is a mandatory three-day waiting period between the point of purchase and delivery of the firearm. This can be extended, by the jurisdiction of local ordinances, to up to five days. 

6. Limits on Firearm Quantity

In Florida, there is no limit on the number of firearms that can be privately sold at any one time. The above restrictions still apply. A background check must take place for every separate transaction.

7. Firearm Status

The firearm(s) being sold must have a valid serial number and lack any illegal accessories, such as a silencer.

What Possible Issues Could Make a Private Gun Sale Illegal?

Essentially, anything that breaches the established requirements will make the transaction illegal. Most of these apply to the buyer. 

These are all examples of individuals who are not legally permitted to purchase a firearm:

  • Anyone convicted of a felony or equivalent
  • Fugitives
  • Those convicted with unlawful use of a controlled substance
  • Those who have been involuntarily committed 
  • Renounced citizenship or illegal alien status
  • Those with active restraining orders or equivalent against them
  • Anyone presently under indictment for a felony

A buyer may also be restricted from purchasing a firearm if they have recently been arrested for a disqualifying offense, even if they have not yet been found guilty. 

If a firearm is knowingly sold to a private buyer who is prohibited from possessing a firearm, both the seller and the buyer will face legal consequences. If the sale is made while the seller has neither knowledge nor reason to believe that the buyer is receiving the gun unlawfully, these consequences will likely only fall on the buyer. 

What are the Penalties for Illegal Gun Sale?

There are serious consequences for not abiding by gun regulations in Florida. If you are found guilty of violating gun-related laws, you could face the following legal repercussions:

  • Jail time
  • Extensive fines
  • Confiscation of weapons
  • Enforced limitations on any future weapon purchases

Let us break down some likely outcomes of ignoring firearm requirements.

Carrying a Concealed Firearm Without a Permit

If you possess a concealed firearm without the appropriate permit, you could face up to five years in prison. You could also pay a fine of up to $5,000.

Inappropriate Display of a Firearm

Open-carry is not permitted in Florida aside from specific exemptions, most often related to law enforcement. You could face up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for breaking this law. 

Possession of a Firearm by a Convict

If you are not eligible to carry a firearm due to previous convictions, you could face up to fifteen years in prison with up to ten thousand dollars in fines. 

How Can a Defense Lawyer Help?

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have broken the aforementioned firearm regulations, having the right legal help can make all the difference. The important thing is that you remain calm. A defense lawyer is there to help you with every step of your case. 

Navigating gun regulations is tricky. Whatever questions you may have, from “is it legal to sell a gun privately” to “can I conceal-carry a firearm without a license in Florida”, a defense lawyer can advise you. 

If you have been charged already, you must seek the appropriate legal representation as soon as possible. 

Contact Mike G Law Today

For decades, Mike G Law has provided counsel and representation to thousands of clients in the Tampa Bay area. If you have been charged with an offense, or are concerned regarding your legal standing with your firearms, don’t hesitate to contact Mike G Law for answers to any questions you may have. 

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