Florida members, question about "assault weapons" laws...


January 5, 2007, 12:36 PM
Hi, I'm fairly new here and I thought I'd ask a question, and I thought this was the appropriate forum to ask. Anyways, I'm 20 years old, and really enjoy shooting a whole lot, and have been going to the range quite a bit shooting my 1911 (which was a gift from my mom). Anyways, the range I go to has a rifle range as well, and I wanted to get a rifle. So... I walk into my local gun store and start poking around there looking at their stuff. I'm on a bit of a budget (broke college student) so I wanted something cheap, yet fun to shoot, so I decided to get an AK. I "wanted" an AR-10, but that was out of my price range :(
Anyways, that's besides the point. The point is that everything was going great until I handed the guy at the counter my ID..... he said he couldn't sell me the AK because I was under 21.... I mentioned that it wasn't a handgun, it's a long gun and that I thought it was OK since I'm over 18. He said that I can buy any long gun that I want, so long as it's not an "Assault Weapon", since the law says I have to be 21 or over to purchase one of those evil murder rifles :rolleyes: I was also informed that I can't buy ammo in .223 or 7.62x39 or 5.45x39 or any of those "assault rifle" calibers. 7.62NATO and even 50BMG are fine though.... go figure.

He said he could sell me a Garand since that wasn't considered an "Assault Weapon" and then we both had a laugh when I said "Well... you wanna ask the Germans if they think the Garand is an assault weapon?" I looked at an SKS but decided to pass (looked beat up, no bayo, etc).

In any event I left the store empty handed. I can't believe I have to wait 3 months till I turn 21 to buy an AK. Oh well, guess that'll give me time to save up and maybe I can afford an AR by then. Regardless though, I'm moving to TX in a matter of weeks, so it won't affect me anymore (unless it's the same over there)

But my question to Florida members is this... is it true that Florida law prevents me from buying assault weapons and "assault weapon calibers" so long as I'm under 21? I had never heard about this law before, and I try to stay up to date on laws (I'm a Criminal Justice major wanting to be a LEO, so I like keeping informed)
Is this a federal law, or just a local thing? Now I'm curious, because I can't find info on this anywhere. Could it be a county thing? (Happened in St. Lucie County)

Any info appreciated.

If you enjoyed reading about "Florida members, question about "assault weapons" laws..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
El Tejon
January 5, 2007, 12:42 PM

Have not heard of this in Florida? Hmmmm.

I would want to see it before believing it. Remember, people are not in the gun business to make money, but to tell other people, "NO!"

January 5, 2007, 12:50 PM
Just off the phone with my local gun shop and they said as long as the weapon doesn't break down to pistol grip status, you're legal to purchase said rifle in Florida. Someone blew smoke up your rear, or its a county law....which I don't think is the case since state law overrides county law here in Florida.

January 5, 2007, 12:56 PM
By break down to pistol grip status you mean if I were able to remove the rear of the stock completely and just have the pistol grip? I can do that with an AR or AK right? Maybe that's why. I dunno. I'll look around at another gun shop, or just wait till I move or turn 21 this April. Any word on why I can't buy "assault rifle" calibers according to the guys at the store (don't own any rifles yet, so I haven't really asked anywhere else, although at walmart they say 18+ for rifle calibers and haven't seen any signs listing exceptions.)

January 5, 2007, 01:07 PM
Find another store. Ammo is ammo. I believe the pistol grip status means quick conversion, either/or. Purchase a fixed stock ak or sks and you are fine. I still believe the person with which you spoke took a dislike to you for some unknown reason.

January 5, 2007, 01:11 PM
Is this perhaps a hyper-paranoid interpretation of the federal restriction against (FFLs) selling handguns to those 18-21?

I can't make sense of it any other way. AFAIK, a semi-auto rifle is a rifle in Florida.

Ed N.
January 5, 2007, 01:22 PM
Sounds bogus as far as the rifle, but you do have to be 21 to purchase handgun ammo. That you means at your age you could buy a .22 rifle, but couldn't buy ammo for it, since handguns are made in .22 caliber. That might be the case for some of the calibers you mentioned. I'm pretty sure a Thompson Contender can be had in .223, for example.

January 5, 2007, 01:24 PM
guy is an idiot and id find a new shop

So long as you are over 18 and pass the background check you can buy any long arm you want. To buy a handgun you need to be over 21 and pass the check.

And "pistol grip status" horse bologna as well. If it is a long arm it is a long arm and you can buy it at 18. If it isn't a pistol you do not need to wait. Also florida has no legal definition of "assult weapon"

As for the ammo you can buy ANY rifle caliber, you may not however buy handgun ammo thats still a no no. He probably tried selling you the garand cause it was worth more or he was just plain ignorant.

I swear how some of these guys can be so ignorant of the laws governing their buisness (and it isn't exactly an unspecialized buisness either mom and pop who don't know jack don't one day go "hey lets open a gun shop sounds like fun") that is is no wonder the average person is even more ignorant of the law.

January 5, 2007, 01:32 PM
Yeah, I figured something was wrong somewhere, as I've never heard anything at all about those laws. The ammo thing kinda makes sense since there are handguns in that caliber, but still, the whole I can't buy any semi auto rifles till I turn 21 sounded like BS. The people at the store seemed very nice though towards me and didn't give me any negative vibes, so I don't think it's anything personal. Also, I look/act alot older than my age so I didn't walk in looking like a criminal either. Who knows, maybe they're just paranoid. I'll shop around somewhere else to see what happens. In any event, thanks for all the replies, they've been really helpful :)

January 5, 2007, 01:51 PM
When it comes to ammo it has to do with the primary type of arm it is used in and was designed for. If it is primarily used in a long gun it is long gun ammo even though there may be handguns that take it. On the flip side any ammo designed for use in handguns and sees primary use in handguns it is a handgun round. So for instance if you were to buy a lever action rifle in .357 mag you couldn't buy the ammo for it. But if you recieved a pistol in .223 you could buy it as it used what is legally rifle ammo.

January 5, 2007, 02:14 PM
Gun Shop Guy is clueless. Find another gun shop.

BTW, as a former Floridian, I would recommend this book as THE resource on Florida firearms law (many FL state agencies even use this as a textbook):


January 5, 2007, 03:11 PM
To my knowledge there is NO Florida law that distinguishes these imaginary "assault weapons" from any other long gun.

Also, you can buy a handgun, just not from an FFL--private sale only.

El Tejon
January 5, 2007, 04:01 PM
And, lo, it was written--KIRK'S FIFTH LAW OF THE INTERNET: "People are not in the gun business to make money; they are in the gun business to tell other people 'NO!'"

So it is written, so it shall be. *thunder rumbles*

January 5, 2007, 05:11 PM
And, lo, it was writting--KIRK'S FIFTH LAW OF THE INTERNET: "People are not in the gun business to make money; they are in the gun business to tell other people 'NO!'"

So it is written, so it shall be. *thunder rumbles*

Honestly... some FFL's are like lemmings...

After a certain amount of years, self preservation is abondoned and it turns into "Honey,.. Kids.. time to start running off the cliff and drowning ourselves in the sea..." And they wonder why they don't stay in business...


January 6, 2007, 06:27 AM
You've learned an important lesson that frankly flies in the face of all logic. Gun store owners/FFL holders (and especially just counter workers who are not FFLs), are often not particular good sources for info on firearms or firearms laws. OFTEN... Obviously a lot are good sources of such info, but this kind of thing has got to be some sort of nationwide epidemic, lol. I take everything a gun store owner says with a grain of salt, beyond when they're just trying to sell me something as well. That may not even be strong enough, more like I figure they're flat wrong until I verify for myself they aren't, lol.

Something like this I don't even know how it gets started. That kind of requirement has never existed in Florida that I know of, and wasn't part of the federal AWB that expired. I think such a restriction does exist in a state or two up north, I guess this gentlemen somehow got wind of it and thought it was local. Oh well, nothing new :cuss:

January 6, 2007, 10:55 AM
Bought my first "assault rifle" when I turned 18 (although that was almost 20 years ago! :eek: ). It was an especially evil Mini-14 with a factory folding stock along with 4 factory 30 round magazines.

I remember thinking to myself how stupid it was that I could legally purchase this beast, but I had to walk away from the Ruger Mk II .22 target pistol because of my age.

Things have not changed, and the gunshop guy is either uneducated or didn't want to sell it to you for whatever reason.

Keep your chin up. Though 21 seems a long way off now, you'll soon be bordering on old guy status and wondering where 21 went! :neener:

January 6, 2007, 10:58 AM
Yeah... Go to a different shop, you should also go back to that other shop and tell the guy he is a moron and you're going to spread the word they are idiots...:)

January 6, 2007, 12:21 PM
Under Florida statutes, the age of "majority" is 18 with respect to all firearms and ammunition.

However, Federal Law prevents a FLL from selling a handgun under the age of 21. But, someone from 18 to 21 can still purchase a handgun from a private individual, or be gifted one from a relative. [ note: straw purchases would apply if you have someone else buy the gun, with an intention of you buying it, or being given it to you ]

I see no designation either with Florida statutes, nor Federally, which would preclude someone over the age of 18 from being able to buy a "pistol grip" semi-automatic rifle who is otherwise able to legally purchase a long-stock rifle or shotgun. There _may_ have been during the period that the federal "assault weapon ban" was in effect, but that has sunset-ed.

With respects to ammunition: The actual Federal Law does not preclude any specific caliber for buyers of the age of 18 to 21. It simply says it is illegal to purchase ammunition for a pistol. I.e. if you have a lever action rifle in .357magnum, it would be _legal_ for you to purchase .357magnum ammunition for use in that rifle. This is where the intent of the purchase determines if it is legal or illegally. BUT, many dealers do not understand the intricacies of the law, or do not wish to "risk it". There is no provision preventing someone else [ over 21 ] from purchasing the ammo for you in use of a pistol.

For example, when I was 18, my father gave me a Colt 1911. But my father had to be with me when I would purchase ammo for it.

In short: find another dealer =-]


If you enjoyed reading about "Florida members, question about "assault weapons" laws..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!