The right to bear arms in the United States exists because guns and other weapons, when used properly and safely, can be useful tools. However, though we have a right to arms as American citizens, we don’t have a right to use them in an unsafe manner. To ensure safe and proper use of guns and weapons, Florida has put laws into place to govern offenses involving guns, firearms, and other deadly weapons.

An arrest for one of these charges can severely affect your future, as well as your right to arms. By contacting an experienced defense attorney in Alachua County, you can take the first step in the fight to protect your rights and future from a Gainesville gun or weapons charge conviction.

Gainesville Gun or Weapon Charge Defense Lawyer

Florida is known for its punitive stance on deadly weapon and firearm offenses. If you have been charged with a gun or weapon charge in Alachua County, Marion County, Levy County, Gilchrist County, Columbia County, Baker County, Bradford County, or Union County, contact the knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys of Galigani Law Firm. With nearly 50 years of combined experience, Galigani Law Firm operates on the principles of advocacy, compassion, and communication.

To see what the qualified Alachua County criminal defense attorneys at Galigani Law Firm can do for your gun or weapon charge case in the Gainesville area, call (352) 375-0812 today to schedule your free consultation.

Gun or Weapons Charge Information Center

Important Gun and Weapon Legal Terms Defined

Concealed firearm – any firearm which is carried on or about a person in a manner that is meant to conceal it from the ordinary sight of another person

Concealed weapon – any dirk, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon carried on or about a person in a manner that is meant to conceal it from the ordinary sight of another person

Firearm – any weapon, including a starter gun for races, which is designed, has the ability, or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by action of an explosive. Term also includes firearm frames, receivers, mufflers, silencers, destructive devices, and machine guns. Term only applies to an antique firearm if it is used in the commission of a crime

Weapon – any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon. Does not include firearms, pocket knives, plastic knives, or table knives.

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Definitions for Common Alachua County Gun and Weapon Charges

The Florida Statutes have many, many offenses involving guns and other weapons, mostly because a weapon is an aggravating factor for several offenses that upgrades the penalties and/or the charge. This includes offenses like armed kidnapping, armed burglary, and use or possession of a weapon in a violent crime (such as domestic violence). There are also gun and weapons charges where the weapon is a part of the direct offense, such as unlawful discharge or using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

No matter the charge, the consequences for a gun or weapons charge in Florida can have a lasting effect on your life. If you have been arrested and charged with any of the following gun and weapon offenses common to Alachua County and are considering contacting an experienced Gainesville defense attorney, it is important to do so as soon as possible:

  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Known in Fla. Stat. § 784.021 as aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon in Florida is an intentional, unlawful threat with a deadly weapon to another person that creates a justifiable fear that violence is imminent. Intent to kill must NOT be present for a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon – Carrying a concealed weapon or firearm on or about your person without a license authorized by Fla. Stat. § 790.06 is illegal under Fla. Stat. § 790.01, except when that weapon is a self-defense chemical spray, non-lethal stun gun, or other non-lethal self-defense device. Illegal concealed carry of a gun or weapon is considered a breach of peace under Fla. Stat. § 790.02, and any law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds or probable cause to believe you are committing unlawful concealed carry can arrest you on the spot without a warrant.
  • Improper Exhibition of Dangerous Weapons or Firearms – According to Fla. Stat. § 790.10, improper exhibition of a weapon or firearm is when a person in possession of a dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other deadly weapon exhibits (for example, waves) that weapon in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner in the presence of one or more persons. The exception to improper exhibition is if the defendant was in the act of necessary self-defense.
  • Firearm Possession by a Felon – One of the sanctions imposed on convicted felons in Florida is the loss of the right to bear arms. This is governed by Fla. Stat. § 790.23, which makes it unlawful for any Florida convicted felon, U.S. convicted felon, convicted delinquent who would be a felon if prosecuted as an adult, or delinquent / felon of another state, territory, or country whose offense was punishable by more than a year of imprisonment to own or have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control a gun or concealed weapon. This statute specifically excludes felons from possessing firearms, ammunition, electric weapon or device, or carrying concealed weapons like a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device.

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The 10-20-LIFE Gun Legislation in Florida

When it comes to gun legislation, Florida is home to one of the toughest, most punitive laws in the nation. The 10-20-LIFE law, or Fla . Stat. § 775.087, employs several sanctions against offenders who commit a crime with a weapon. A separate prison sentence for the use of a firearm or other weapon is given in addition to any prison time imposed by the original offense, and it must be served separately from and after the other prison sentences.

Mandatory minimums are also imposed on certain offenses. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon comes with a mandatory minimum of three years in Florida prison. A felony or attempted felony with a firearm carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. Crimes where a firearm was discharged, have a 20-year minimum, and crimes committed with a firearm where someone was injured or killed has a mandatory minimum of 25 years to life in prison. All of these penalties have severe consequences on your life, and you’re facing a prosecution determined to enforce these gun laws – the counsel of an experienced Alachua County defense lawyer for gun and weapon charges is highly recommended.

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Penalties for Gun and Weapon Charges Common to Gainesville

Most of the gun or weapon offenses in Gainesville and Alachua County are felonies, so it’s important to keep the punitive nature of the 10-20-LIFE law in mind when reviewing the already severe penalties for these offenses. Both the unlawful carry of a concealed weapon that is not a firearm and improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms are first-degree misdemeanor charges punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. It is a third-degree felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine, to commit assault with a deadly weapon or the unlawful concealed carry of a firearm.

A felon or delinquent found in violation of the laws governing firearm possession by a felon can be charged with either a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony, depending on the case. A second-degree felony in Florida comes with up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines, while a first-degree felony carries penalties of up to 30 years or life in prison and 10,000 in fines. When opting for an experienced weapon or gun charge defense attorney in Alachua County for your defense strategy, it is best to contract with one as soon as possible after your arrest so you can begin your defense immediately.

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Alachua County Gun and Weapon Charges Legal Resources

Florida Department of Law Enforcement – Responsible for promoting public safety through crime prevention, investigation, a resolution, the FDLE’s website is a good resource for safety information, statistics, and information on FDLE’s services. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is at:

2331 Phillips Road
Tallahassee, Florida 31308
(850) 410-7640

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – The ATF is the national governing agency over alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives, with responsibilities including the investigation and prevention of federal offenses involving firearms and explosives. This links directly to the firearms page, where you can find public information, FAQs, and online training.

National Rifle Association – NRA – This links to the NRA Digital Network, the homepage for one of the largest gun reform non-profit organizations in the United States. The NRA aims to responsibly change weapon laws while providing gun owner education and training.

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Galigani Law Firm | Defense Attorney for Alachua County Gun and Weapon Charges

If you have been arrested and charged on a deadly weapon, firearm, or gun offense in Gainesville, Alachua County, or the surrounding areas like Ocala in Marion County and Lake City in Columbia County, don’t face the state’s specialized gun law prosecutors alone. Come armed with 50 years of experience at your side. To schedule your free consultation concerning your gun or weapon charges with Galigani Law Firm, call (352) 375-0812 today.