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Know the Law: Non-Lethal Self-Defense | Florida

The following is a video transcript.

A Florida CWFL (concealed weapons and firearm license) holder can lawfully carry a wide variety of concealed weapons—both lethal and non-lethal. Under a CWFL, all of the following weapons may be lawfully carried concealed:

  • handguns;
  • knives;
  • electric weapons such as a taser or stun gun;
  • billies; and
  • chemical weapons such as mace or pepper spray.

Remember, it is called a concealed weapon license, but this does not mean you can carry any weapon you want.

Without a CWFL, you can still carry a self-defense chemical spray containing less than two ounces of chemical, or a non-lethal electric weapon designed for purposes of lawful self-defense in a concealed manner.

Use of Reasonable Force

Whether you carry a firearm or other weapon, remember you can only use deadly force if you reasonably believe that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself or another, or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. Furthermore, nondeadly force can only be used when you reasonably believe that such conduct is necessary to defend yourself or another against another imminent use of unlawful force.

You must also remember that although the state has preempted local governments from making rules regulating firearms, they have not done the same with other weapons. This means that as you travel throughout the state, the law can change as you go from one town to the other or one county to the next.

Do not Carry Concealed without a CWFL

Also, remember it is illegal to conceal carry any weapon without a concealed carry license. You must openly carry your self-defense non-lethal weapon if you do not have a CWFL. As we mentioned earlier, chemical sprays and tasers are the only exceptions. Otherwise, you are carrying it illegally.

If any questions arise regarding a less-than-lethal weapon, call U.S. LawShield to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.

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