Purchasing firearms – should you follow the mandatory waiting period?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2023 | Felonies

While Florida doesn’t require gun owners to have a permit before purchasing a firearm, the state has a mandatory waiting period. This means that a gun buyer must wait for three days – excluding weekends and legal holidays – between their purchase of the weapon and its delivery.

Three days might sound too long, but this mandatory period is important because it gives the Florida Department of Law Enforcement enough time to conduct a background check on the buyer. If law enforcement finds that the buyer has a history of violent crime, the buyer is ineligible, and the deal is canceled.

It may be tempting to find a workaround, but using deceit or trickery to skirt this mandatory waiting period is a crime in Florida.

Obtaining firearm delivery through false pretense or fraud

Per Florida law, it’s a crime for a gun purchaser to obtain delivery of a weapon by fraud, false pretense or false misrepresentation. Fraud may involve the person pretending to be any of the individuals exempt from the waiting period or using a fake concealed weapons license to get around the waiting period.

Likewise, it’s an offense for any retailer or employee of a retailer to deliver a firearm before the expiration of the mandatory waiting period.

Who is exempt from the waiting period?

The law notes that only the following individuals are exempt from the mandatory waiting period:

  • Concealed weapons permit holders
  • Rifle or shotgun buyers who completed a 16-hour hunter safety course and have a hunter safety certification
  • Those who are trading in another firearm
  • Law enforcement officers, correctional officers and servicemembers

As mentioned previously, buyers trying to pretend they’re one of the following or have forged documents saying they’re concealed weapon permit holders or have hunter safety certification violate the law.

The penalties for obtaining firearms through trickery

A violation of Florida’s mandatory waiting period is a felony of the third degree for both buyers and retailers. On conviction, a person faces up to five years of prison and $5,000 in fines.

The mandatory waiting period for buying firearms is a restriction everybody should abide by. Violating this law, even if you don’t have a criminal history, leads to a felony criminal charge. Consider consulting a legal professional if you face charges, to build your case.


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