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Gun / Weapon / Firearm Offenses

Criminal charges for firearm and weapons offenses in Florida can result in serious penalties and repercussions, including jail or prison time, steep fines, a criminal record, and/or the permanent loss of owning or possessing a firearm.  Often, an individual who is charged with a gun or weapon offense may not have intended to commit a criminal offense. For example, individuals who have previously been convicted of a felony offense are not allowed to own or possess a firearm. If they do not know of this provision or realize the item in their possession is considered a firearm, they can be charged with another crime.

If you have been charged with a firearm or weapon offense anywhere in the Florida Panhandle, you do not necessarily have to face a conviction. The state prosecutor is required to prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

This means if the judge or jury has in doubt in their mind, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the Florida Panhandle to help you create your best legal defense.

DeFuniak Springs Firearm and Weapon Charges Lawyer

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a consultation about your alleged firearm or weapon offense in the Florida Panhandle, including Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola, or Panama City. The attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s firearm and weapon laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today at if you have been charged with a gun or weapon offense throughout Destin and South Walton.


South Walton Firearm and Weapon Information Center


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Destin Firearm and Weapon Offenses

Florida law defines a firearm as any weapon designed to project an object through the use of an explosive. A weapon is defined under Florida Statutes § 790.001(13) as any of the following:

  • Dirk;
  • Metal knuckles;
  • Slingshot;
  • Knife, other than a pocket knife, table knife or plastic knife;
  • Tear gas gun;
  • Chemical weapon or device; and/or
  • Any other deadly weapon.

Some of the most common firearm and weapons offenses in South Walton and Destin can include any of the following:

Carrying Concealed Weapons, Fla. Stat. § 790.01 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they do not have Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) and carry a concealed weapon anywhere in public besides their home or business. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree or a felony of the third degree depending on whether a weapon or firearm was concealed.

Improper Exhibition of a Weapon, Fla. Sta. § 790.10 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they show a weapon to another person in public in a threatening, angry, rude or careless way that is not for self-defense. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Weapon Possession by a Felon, Fla. Stat. § 790.23 — A convicted felon can be charged with this offense if they could have been sentenced to imprisonment for at least one year and they subsequently own or possess a firearm. This offense is punishable as a felony of the second or first degree depending on whether the alleged offender could have been punished with enhanced penalties.

Using a Firearm Under the Influence, Fla. Stat. § 790.151 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they are under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a controlled substance and their normal faculties are impaired when using a firearm. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the second degree.


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Defenses to Destin Firearm and Weapons Charges

In certain firearm and weapon cases in South Walton and Destin, defenses may be available to use against the criminal accusations. These defenses are not applicable in every situation, so it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the Florida Panhandle who will help you identify if any of the following defenses may apply to the facts of your particular case: 

  • Unlawful Weapon Possession — Citizens in Florida are permitted to carry stun guns, two ounces or less of chemical sprays, or any other non-lethal weapons for self-protection. If an individual is charged with a weapons offense for carrying any of these weapons, this defense may apply.
  • Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon — An individual who is a convicted felony offender that has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm may be able to assert as a defense their civil rights and abilities to possess a firearm have been restored.
  • Improper Exhibition of a Weapon — An individual that has been charged with improper weapon exhibition may be able to assert they used or showed the weapon for self-defense, or they may be able to assert as a defense that the weapon was not shown in a threatening manner or in a way that created unreasonable risk or injury to others.
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon or Firearm — An individual that has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon or weapon may be able to assert the weapon was encased in a holster or in a closed console in their vehicle. If the weapon was in either of these places, the alleged offender is not required to have a CWP in Florida.

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South Walton Penalties for Firearm and Weapon Crimes

The penalties for firearm and weapon offenses in the Florida Panhandle are defined in Sections 775.082, 775.083 and 775.084 of the Florida Statutes. The basic statutory penalties can increase depending on a number of factors, such as whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history, whether the alleged offender is a convicted felon, and/or the type of firearm or weapon used during the commission of the offense.

  • An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of the second-degree firearm or weapons offense can receive a jail sentence up to 60 days and/or a fine not more than $500.
  • An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of the first-degree firearm or weapons offense can face a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine not more than $1,000.
  • An individual convicted of felony of the third-degree weapons or firearm offense can face a prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine up to $5,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the second-degree weapons or firearm offense can receive a prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the first degree weapons or firearm offense can face a prison sentence up to 30 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.

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Florida’s 10-20-LIFE Law

Florida’s 10-20-LIFE weapons statute, which is codified in section 775.087 of the Florida Statutes, states that individuals who are convicted of a criminal offense involving a weapon or firearm will either receive an increased penalty or are required to serve a mandatory minimum prison sentence, in addition to any prison sentence for the crime they allegedly committed. The sentence is not permitted to be served at the same time, or concurrently, as the prison term for the underlying offense and must be served after the term of the underlying offense has been completed. The mandatory minimum prison sentences are as follows:

  • A felony offense or attempted felony offense with a firearm is punishable by an additional minimum ten years in prison.
  • If a firearm was discharged during the commission of a felony offense, the alleged offender will be sentenced to an additional minimum of 20 years in prison.
  • If another person was killed or injured during the commission of an offense involving the use of a firearm or weapon, the alleged offender will be sentenced to an additional minimum prison term of 25 years to life.
  • If a convicted felon is in possession of a firearm without the restoration of their civil rights or abilities, they can be sentenced to an additional minimum of three years in prison.

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South Walton Firearm and Weapon Resources

National Rifle Association – The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a national organization that is dedicated to advocating for citizens’ Second Amendment rights and promoting firearms education for all civilians.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is a national law enforcement agency dedicated to protecting communities and citizens throughout the United States United States from violent crimes, illegal use and trafficking of firearms, acts of criminal organizations, acts of terrorism, and the illegal use of alcohol and tobacco items.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is a law enforcement agency that maintains the public safety of the state’s citizens by making efforts to prevent firearm offenses and investigate criminal offenses throughout the state. The Florida Panhandle regional Department of Law Enforcement is located at:

Pensacola Regional Operations Center
1301 North Palafox Street
Pensacola, Florida 32501
Phone: (850) 595-2100

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Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | South Walton Gun and Weapon Attorney

If you have been accused of a firearm or weapon offense anywhere in the Florida Panhandle, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Adkinson Law Firm, LLC defends clients against criminal charges in communities throughout Okaloosa County, Santa Rose County, Bay County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County, and Escambia County.

Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is an aggressive DeFuniak Springs criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your gun or weapon crime allegations today.