Florida Man strikes again! And this time, he’s giving out free AR-15s (with purchase of course). As a criminal defense attorney in Palm Beach Gardens, I’m no stranger to the bizarre and unique arrest stories that come out of the state of Florida. The term ‘Florida Man’ was first popularized on Twitter by magazine editor Freddie Campion as a way to cover the obscure crimes committed by some of our residents in the Sunshine State.

But back to the story at hand - there is a new ‘Florida Man’ on the block, and this time he’s handing out free AR-15s and Thanksgiving turkeys. Florida roofing company, Roof EZ, based in Cape Coral, has launched a brand new seasonal promotion ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Roof EZ president, Jason Polly, is offering customers a free frozen turkey and an AR-15 assault rifle with the purchase of a new roof. 

The promotion has garnered a lot of attention online already - with both supporters and those against the gifting of a gun. Is it legal to hand out a free AR-15? In fact, is it even legal to gift a turkey for Thanksgiving?! 

My job as a Florida Criminal Defense attorney is not to determine what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Instead, I aim to provide honest and straightforward legal advice so you can make that decision for yourself. I’ll answer these questions and dive into the legal complexities surrounding gun ownership if it is legal to gift a gun, and what Florida law says about gun rights in the Sunshine State.

What are the gun ownership laws in Florida?

In comparison to other states, Florida’s gun laws are relatively permissive. There is no state registry of firearms, and private sales of firearms do not require a background check. However, there are certain laws in place restricting individuals who can legally own a gun. This includes convicted felons, individuals who have been convicted of any sort of domestic violence misdemeanor or felony, and any individual who has a restraining order against them. 

Can you have an unregistered gun in your home in Florida?

In Florida, you can legally have an unregistered gun in your home. As stated above, there is no requirement for a firearm to be registered in the state. Additionally, the Constitution of the State of Florida guarantees the right to bear arms. This means Florida residents are legally allowed to have an unregistered gun in their homes. 

Can you keep a gun in your car in Florida without a permit?

Similar to the laws on keeping an unregistered gun in your home in Florida, Florida law also legally allows individuals to carry a concealed firearm in their vehicle without a permit, as long as the gun is securely encased or not readily accessible for immediate use. This can mean in a glove compartment, a gun case, a holster with a snap, or even in a box with a lid While the term “securely encased” can mean a few things, one important thing to remember is if you keep a gun in your car is that is should not be on the person’s body or in such a position that it can be easily accessed and used. 

What is the new concealed carry law in Florida?

Effective July 1, 2023, House Bill 543 went into effect in Florida. This recent enactment brought a significant change in gun control laws in Florida, particularly introducing “permitless carry” in the state. This new legislation allows legal gun owners to carry concealed firearms without a permit or license. Certain restrictions do still apply, including age, residency, and background requirements. Violations of the regulations surrounding concealed carry can lead to severe legal penalties in West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and the rest of Florida. For more information about Florida’s new permitless concealed carry law, check out our blog post

Is it Legal to Gift a Turkey for Thanksgiving?

Aside from the AR-15, customers who take advantage of this promotion are also gifted a turkey for Thanksgiving. There are no legal restrictions on gifting turkeys and other Thanksgiving items in Florida. The only issue would be if someone intends to sell a large amount of food, in which case they would need a permit or license. So, if there are community members you know of who are in need during the holiday season - feel free to gift whatever food you can.

Palm Beach Gardens Gun Lawyer

Overall, while this story ruffled some (turkey) feathers in the news, this Florida Man is not doing anything illegally gifting a free AR-15, so long as he is following the legal restrictions we discussed. If you need legal advice about your criminal defense or personal injury case this Thanksgiving, we are available online and by phone 24/7. Stay safe, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

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