Knife carrying laws were passed by the Florida Legislature in the year 1987. The form of the law is similar to that in other states. This law made it mandatory for the authorities to issue license for carrying knife or any kind of concealed weapon in order to avoid and reduce any kind of criminal acts.
Definition of a Weapon
According to section 790.001 of the state code of Florida, a ‘weapon’ is defined as any metallic knife, knuckles, dirk, tear gas gun, billie, slung shot, any chemical weapon, any weapon other than a common pocket knife or a firearm. Carrying any such weapon in open or concealed from others without a license is against the law. Carrying a concealed weapon or an electric weapon is a first degree offense while carrying a firearm is a third degree offense. However, if a person has a license of carrying such a weapon then the act is not a punishable crime in the eye of the law.
Carrying Weapons of Self Defence
There are certain weapons that have been categorised as weapon of self defence. Carrying any such weapon is not unlawful. It includes chemical sprays, non-lethal stun gun, remote stun gun and other non-lethal electric weapons. All of these weapons have been designed for the purpose of self-defence and hence pose no threat to the law and order situation. Thus a citizen can carry them without any license.
Getting License for Carrying Concealed Weapon or Firearm
A person who wants to carry a concealed weapon in Florida without being convicted needs to get proper license from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer services. This law falls under ‘shall issue’ laws and the issuing authority is bound by the regulations of the statutes for issuing them.
Carrying a concealed weapon with a license
With this license, a person can carry a concealed weapon like a knife or billie, handgun, tear gas gun or an electronic weapon anywhere in the state. This, however, does not include carrying a machine gun. Any of these concealed weapons cannot be carried to a school property or a school event and the citizen can be convicted for it. This license is valid for 5 years only and needs to be renewed afterward.
A person who shows any of these licensed weapons in a rude, angry or attacking manner can be convicted with the first degree criminal offense. Also carrying a licensed weapon open is also a punishable crime. Hence even if a person has a license, one needs to be careful of the rules and regulations for carrying them.