Firearm and Weapon Offenses
The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in Section 8 of Article I to the Constitution of the State of Florida and the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. While Florida Statutes §§ 125.0107 and 166.044 prohibit counties and municipalities, respectively, from adopting ordinances relating to the possession or sale of ammunition, Florida Statute § 790.33 empowers the state legislature with ability to regulate the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, and transportation of firearms.
State law prohibits certain activities involving firearms or weapons for certain people or in certain places. Criminal charges for a weapon or firearm crime can have especially damaging consequences that may include imprisonment, fines, and possibly even the loss of the right to bear arms.Firearm and Weapon Offenses Lawyer in Broward County, Florida
Were you recently arrested in Florida for any kind of alleged offense involving a gun or other weapon? It is in your best interest to contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible for help fighting to have the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman aggressively defends clients all over Broward County, including Miramar, Plantation, Hallandale Beach, Margate, Hollywood, and several other nearby areas. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Overview of Weapon and Firearm Crimes in Fort Lauderdale
- What is the difference between a weapon and a firearm?
- Which offenses involving firearms or weapons are people charged with?
- Where can I find more information about gun rights issues in Broward County?
Firearms and Weapons Definitions in Florida
Chapter 790 of the Florida Statutes is dedicated to weapons and firearms. Florida Statute § 790.001(13) defines a weapon as “any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife.”
A firearm is defined under Florida Statute § 790.001(5) as “any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun.” It does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime.
A weapon or firearm is considered concealed if it is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon or firearm from the ordinary sight of another person. Some of the other definitions relating to weapons and firearms include:
- Antique Firearm — Any firearm manufactured in or before 1918 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar early type of ignition system) or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1918, and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1918, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
- Dart-Firing Stun Gun — Any device having one or more darts that are capable of delivering an electrical current.
- Destructive Device — Any bomb, grenade, mine, rocket, missile, pipebomb, or similar device containing an explosive, incendiary, or poison gas and includes any frangible container filled with an explosive, incendiary, explosive gas, or expanding gas, which is designed or so constructed as to explode by such filler and is capable of causing bodily harm or property damage; any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled; any device declared a destructive device by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; any type of weapon which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of any explosive and which has a barrel with a bore of one-half inch or more in diameter; and ammunition for such destructive devices, but not including shotgun shells or any other ammunition designed for use in a firearm other than a destructive device. This term does not include a device which is not designed, redesigned, used, or intended for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed as a weapon, which is redesigned so that it may be used solely as a signaling, line-throwing, safety, or similar device; any shotgun other than a short-barreled shotgun; or any nonautomatic rifle (other than a short-barreled rifle) generally recognized or particularly suitable for use for the hunting of big game.
- Electric Weapon or Device — Any device which, through the application or use of electrical current, is designed, redesigned, used, or intended to be used for offensive or defensive purposes, the destruction of life, or the infliction of injury.
- Explosive — Any chemical compound or mixture that has the property of yielding readily to combustion or oxidation upon application of heat, flame, or shock, including but not limited to dynamite, nitroglycerin, trinitrotoluene, or ammonium nitrate when combined with other ingredients to form an explosive mixture, blasting caps, and detonators; but not including shotgun shells, cartridges, or ammunition for firearms; fireworks; legally possessed, purchased, sold, transported, or used smokeless propellant powder or small arms ammunition primers; legal quantities of black powder used for, or intended to be used for, the manufacture of target and sporting ammunition or for use in muzzle-loading flint or percussion weapons.
- Machine Gun — Any firearm which shoots, or is designed to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manually reloading, by a single function of the trigger.
- Short-Barreled Rifle — A rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length and any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
- Short-Barreled Shotgun — A shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length and any weapon made from a shotgun (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
- Slungshot — A small mass of metal, stone, sand, or similar material fixed on a flexible handle, strap, or the like, used as a weapon.
- Tear Gas Gun or Chemical Weapon or Device — Any weapon of such nature, except a device known as a self-defense chemical spray, which is defined as a device carried solely for purposes of lawful self-defense that is compact in size, designed to be carried on or about the person, and contains not more than two ounces of chemical.
Common Firearm and Weapon Offenses in Broward County
Several offenses based on the carrying or use of weapons or firearms are established under state law in Florida. Additionally, the possession or use of a firearm or weapon in the commission of another criminal offense can be an aggravating factor that triggers enhanced penalties.
The Hoffman Firm represents clients who have been accused of all kinds of weapons or firearms crimes. A few of the types of cases we handle most frequently include, but are not limited to:
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon;
- Discharging a Firearm in Public;
- Improper Exhibition of Dangerous Weapon or Firearm;
- Prohibited Use of a Firearm Against a Law Enforcement Officer; and
- Using Firearm While Under the Influence.
Florida Firearm and Weapon Offense Resources
National Rifle Association of America (NRA) — As a nonprofit 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, the NRA is one of the most well-known an powerful Second Amendment rights groups in the nation. You can find NRA programs in your area through an interactive map on this website. You can also learn more about recent NRA news and upcoming events.
Project Safe Neighborhoods — Project Safe Neighborhoods is the anti-gang, anti-gun violence initiative of the United States Department of Justice. On this website, you can learn more about the primary components of this initiative, including how the Southern District of Florida was “at the forefront of coordinating, facilitating and empowering reentry initiatives throughout the District.” Find information about community-based partnerships and the Project Sentry component of Project Safe Neighborhoods.
If you have been arrested for a gun or weapon-related crime in Florida, make sure that you retain legal counsel who will fight to protect your rights. The Hoffman Firm defends clients in Pembroke Pines, Davie, Lauderhill, Cooper City, Pompano Beach, and surrounding communities in Broward County.
Evan A. Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who has a unique perspective on the most effective ways to handle these cases as a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. Call (954) 524-4474 or submit an online contact form today to have him review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.