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.