House Bill 543 FAQ
What does House Bill 543 do in terms of concealed firearm licensing in Florida?
Concealed weapons licensing (CWL) is still permitted, however, it removes the requirement for having a concealed firearm license to carry a concealed firearm in Florida.
Who can carry a concealed weapon without a valid Florida permit?
To carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm without a license, you must be eligible for a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License based on the criteria in Section 790.06, F.S., except you are not required to complete training or pay a licensing fee.
When does House Bill 543 (HB 543) take effect?
House Bill 543 will take effect on July 1, 2023.
When carrying without a permit, what will I need?
You will need valid photo identification to present upon demand to law enforcement.
Will the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) still be authorized to issue Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm Licenses?
Yes. HB 543 doesn’t eliminate the Department’s authority to issue licenses to carry concealed weapons to qualified individuals. Licenses will still be valid for seven years, and the requirements for obtaining the license are unchanged. Applicants can apply for or renew a license by mail, online, at an FDACS regional office, or at an approved tax collector location.
Will the tax collector’s office still process original applications and renew Florida CWLs?
Yes, Escambia County Tax Collector offices will continue to offer CWL services.
Were there any changes to the CDL licensing fees?
No, the fees will remain the same for originals and renewals.
Will I still be able to renew my Florida CWL after July 1, 2023?
Yes, license holders can continue to renew after July 1, 2023.
What Should I Know About Federal Gun-Free School Zones?
It is a federal crime to knowingly possess a firearm in a “School” or a “School Zone. The following items are the exceptions:
1. You have a valid concealed weapon license and you are in your home state.
2. You are on private property.
3. You are employed/contracted by the school as a guard.
4. You are a law enforcement officer.
5. The gun is not loaded and in a locked container, or in a locked firearm rack in a vehicle.
You should contact your local school to inquire if they have further restrictions on firearms.
Are Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License holders still exempt from the three-day waiting period when purchasing a firearm?
Yes, the three-day waiting period does not apply to Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License holders.
I just paid for my license. Will my fees be refunded?
Pursuant to Florida law, all fees previously incurred to obtain or renew a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License are non-refundable.
Which other states have “constitutional carry” or “permitless carry?”
Laws vary by state. If you are traveling to another state, it is your responsibility to know and comply with that state’s laws.
Can FDACS or tax collector staff tell me if I am eligible for a license?
Persons with questions about how their criminal history may affect their ability to carry concealed firearms or qualify for a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License should contact a private attorney. House Bill 543 includes criminal penalties for people who are not eligible to carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm and are caught doing so.
I don’t live in Florida; how can I carry a concealed firearm while visiting?
A resident of the United States who is 21 years of age or older (18 years of age or older for service members and honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces) will be able to carry concealed weapons or concealed firearms based on satisfying the criteria for receiving and maintaining a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License or for having a license issued by their state of residence. Effective July 1, 2023, the State of Florida acknowledges all concealed firearm licenses lawfully issued by another state. Non-residents who want a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License can still apply for one. Persons with questions about whether they satisfy the criteria for receiving and maintaining a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License or having a license issued by their state of residence should contact a private attorney.
Can I openly carry a firearm in Florida?
With limited statutory exceptions (see S. 790.25, F.S.), open carry of firearms is not lawful in Florida. Persons with questions about whether those exceptions apply to them should contact a private attorney for assistance.
I have a Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License. Are there any places I cannot carry?
Yes, please see Section 790.06(12), F.S. No changes to the list of prohibited places were included in House Bill 543.
The preceding is not legal advice and is for informational purposes only.
Citizens should contact their attorney should they have questions about their eligibility.