Can You Open Carry While Hiking in Florida? (Beginners Guide)

Can You Open Carry While Hiking In Florida

The laws on firearms vary from state to state. Seven states in the US prohibit open carry, and Florida is one of them. 

Many restrictions have been placed to restrict gun owners from carrying their weapons in public. Most of these laws are in place to protect people living in Florida from harm. 

However, there are some loopholes you can leverage to ensure you have your firearm to protect yourself. 

It is generally illegal to openly carry a firearm in Florida. Under the firearms act, it is illegal to carry firearms and certain electric weapons openly. It is illegal for a firearm to be displayed in a situation that doesn’t call for self-defense or the defense of other lives or properties. 

Do Florida State Parks Permits Open Carry, for Hikers?

Can You Open Carry While Hiking In Florida

It is prohibited for anyone to display their weapon in any state park openly. Weapons that fall under this category are firearms of any kind. 

Open carry is limited to activities such as hunting or self-defense. However, there are ways in which you can carry your weapon in Florida state parks. 

There are over 190 parks in Florida, and if you have a license to conceal your weapons. However, remember that you can’t openly carry, as that is prohibited. 

Failure to comply can lead to criminal charges. Conceal carrying without a license can also get you arrested and even charged. 

Carrying in Florida state parks is strictly limited to people with concealed carry licenses. 

One exception is the general rule of concealed carry in Florida state parks. You cannot open or conceal carry any firearms while visiting the Savanna State Reserve

It is against the law for anyone except law enforcement personnel or conservation officers to visit the space possessing their firearm.

However, there are certain areas in the reserve where you can visit with your firearm. 

If you comply with the regulations set in place by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, you can carry within specified boundaries. 

Any region outside such boundaries and you will be prosecuted if caught. A violation of this law is regarded as a second-degree misdemeanor.

Thus, you can spend up to 60 days in prison with a $500 fine and six months of probation. 

When Is It Lawful To Open Carry In Florida?

You can’t open carry in Florida if you aren’t a law enforcement personnel. Florida has a very strict no open carry policy in the state. 

However, you can conceal carry if you have a license from the state. It is important to note that this permit is only for concealed carrying of firearms. 

Even then, the permit will only come into play if you are under the supervision of the state’s agriculture and consumer services department. 

The only time you are free to open carry in Florida is if you are on a hunting trip or during self-defense. 

The laws on firearms may appear strict in Florida, but there are other areas where you wouldn’t have to go through much stress. 

For instance, you don’t require a permit before you can buy a firearm anywhere in the state. 

Furthermore, you don’t have to subject yourself to a complete background check before being eligible for a firearm purchase. 

However, you will have to be up to 21 years to be able to buy a firearm in the state of Florida. There are certain areas where it is legal for you to open carry in Florida.

Below are some places you have the freedom to show off your piece.

  • You can possess a firearm in a restaurant, and its surrounding areas, provided there isn’t any ban placed by the management. However, you can’t open carry in bar areas. 
  • You are also free to have a firearm in your private car with the weapon in the line of sight. 

What Weapons Can You Open Carry In Florida?

You aren’t allowed to carry around any antique weapon in Florida. Antique weapons refer to firearms manufactured before 1918, as these weapons are old and can easily misfire. 

You are also not allowed to carry around any weapon that is a replica of an antique firearm. 

The bottom line, you can’t carry around any gun that is no longer in production or unavailable during a firearms trade. 

Machine guns are also prohibited in the state of Florida. In this context, weapons that fall under machine guns are any guns that can shoot automatically. 

Particularly when it doesn’t require a manual reload or a person pulling the trigger. 

The only exception to this law is enforcement officers or anyone with special permission from the state to do so under state law. 

Below is a quick rundown of the weapons you can carry in Florida under certain circumstances.

Assault weaponAssault weapons aren’t allowed.
Handguns and long gunsOpen carry is illegal, but you can carry under certain circumstances.
Magazine limitThere are no magazine limits for firearms in the state.
License for ownership of a firearmYou don’t require a licensed firearm.
Red flag lawA law enforcement officer can prohibit individuals from carrying firearms.
Castle doctrine lawFlorida uses castle law, which states you can use a firearm for self-defense. 
Open carry in schoolsYou can’t open carry in schools, colleges, or universities.
Duty to inform for open carryYou aren’t obligated to inform anybody if you open carry under the right circumstances.

Is It Permitted For Non-residents To Open Carry In Florida?

Open carry is prohibited in Florida for residents and non-residents; hence, it’s not permitted. 

However, if you are a non-resident and you are interested in carrying around your firearm, you can apply for a concealed carry permit. 

It doesn’t matter if you are a resident or not; you can apply for a permit like other residents of Florida. 

However, there are minimum eligibility requirements you must qualify for before you are given a license in Florida. 

Below is a rundown of all the minimum requirements:

  • You must be at least 21 years old. You are exempted from this requirement if you are service personnel as defined in the Florida Statutes under section 250.01. 

If you are a veteran of the United States Armed forces discharged under honorable conditions, you are eligible for this requirement. 

  • You must provide a certificate of completion from a firearms class or other accepted training documentation proving you are competent with a firearm. 
  • You shouldn’t have a disqualifying criminal record, as this will make you ineligible for a license. 


Florida has a strict no open carry policy that, if breached, can lead to prosecution and possible jail time. 

If anyone is caught open carrying in situations where they aren’t hunting or defending themselves, they can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.

Josh Matthews

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