What is the Legal Age to Purchase & Possess Firearms in Florida?

In this video, we are going to put to rest the confusion of how old one must be to purchase a firearm in Florida and what age you need to be to legally possess a firearm in this state. In order to do this, we need to know what the federal and state laws say in regard to purchasing a firearm and which law controls.

Under federal law, anyone over the age of 18 may purchase a long gun, and anyone 21 years or older may purchase a handgun from a federally licensed firearms dealer, commonly referred to as an FFL dealer. As of March 2, 2018, Florida state law no longer mirrors the federal law for purchasing a firearm. Florida law now requires a person to be 21 years of age or older to purchase any firearm from any source, although the law only lists penalties if an FFL dealer makes the sale. So which law controls? When the federal government sets a minimum age to be able to do something, a state can be more restrictive but not less. Therefore, if the State of Florida increases the minimum age, then you must be 21 years or older to purchase a long gun or a handgun.

Now that we know how old you must be to purchase a firearm, let’s talk about how old you must be to possess a firearm. Under both federal and state law, anyone 18 years or older may possess a long gun or a handgun. If you have a minor under the age of 18, don’t worry. There are some exceptions such as hunting, target practice, taking a safety course on firearms, and several other activities during which federal and state law allow a minor to possess a firearm. Some of these activities may require either adult supervision or permission by the minor’s parent or legal guardian to be in compliance with the law.

Remember, ignorance of the law is never a defense. If you have a minor under the age of 18 in your care who possesses a firearm, it is up to you to know the law.

First Aid for Gunshot Wounds 2A Institute

Comment section

2 comments on “What is the Legal Age to Purchase & Possess Firearms in Florida?

  1. I worked for a FFL when the rules changed and I want to bring up a point to the Authors of this article: The 790.065 law referencing firearms sales pertains to FFL’s (Dealers, Importers, Manufacturers). No regulation in FL statute says anything about private transaction between two individuals, no matter if age is 18-20, or 21 plus. Under 18 is obvious as there is specific statute regarding this (790.022).

    BUT look at the public document Florida Department of Law Enforcement published for FFL dealers. The document is called “Firearm Purchase Program Firearm Dealers Manual”, look at pages 5-8. The term “Customer” is stated multiple times as in “Customers MUST be 21 years of age to purchase a firearm. Customers who are at least
    18 but less than 21 may purchase a rifle or shotgun if they are an active duty law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or United States Service-member.” It seems that FDLE cares about what dealers do in their shop regarding sales.

    I understand the video saying 21 from “all sources” as a CYA but do read into more than just the state statutes.
    Keep in mind other “Firearms Legal Experts” (like Adam Kraut) are saying buying from 21 for dealers only instead of “all sources”. There is conflicting information on this matter out there. Thanks!

  2. Need help with a question. If I have a family member purchase a handgun in Florida and gift it to me. At the age of 19, am I able to possess it ? Where can I if so? I’m seeing different answers on each website. Purchase age in FL changed to 21. My fire-arm would be gifted. Am I not allowed to possess a simple handgun I can use as entertainment and a healthy way to decompress.

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