For convicted felons looking to own air rifles in Florida, the law is complex and nuanced. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: In many cases, yes, but it depends on the type of felony and other factors.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide an in-depth look at Florida’s laws concerning felons owning air rifles. We’ll overview key regulations, exceptions, and penalties. We’ll also walk through steps felons can take to understand if they can legally own air rifles.

Florida’s Firearm Regulations for Felons

Overview of State and Federal Laws

When it comes to felons owning firearms, Florida has strict regulations in place to ensure public safety. Both state and federal laws govern the possession and ownership of firearms by individuals with felony convictions.

Under Florida law, it is generally illegal for a convicted felon to possess any type of firearm, including handguns, rifles, shotguns, and even air rifles.

Florida Statute 790.23 states that any person who has been convicted of a felony offense in Florida or any other jurisdiction is prohibited from possessing a firearm. This includes individuals who have had their civil rights restored, unless they have received a pardon or had their record expunged.

Additionally, federal law also prohibits felons from possessing firearms. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits any person who has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year from possessing any firearm or ammunition.

It is important to note that these laws apply not only to traditional firearms but also to air rifles in the state of Florida.

Differences Between Air Rifles and Firearms

While air rifles may not be as powerful or lethal as traditional firearms, they are still considered firearms under Florida law. The definition of a firearm in Florida includes any weapon which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant.

Although an air rifle does not use gunpowder as a propellant, it uses compressed air or gas to propel a projectile. Therefore, it falls within the legal definition of a firearm and is subject to the same regulations and restrictions as other firearms.

It is worth mentioning that air rifles are often used for recreational purposes such as target shooting or pest control. However, felons in Florida are not allowed to own or possess air rifles, regardless of their intended use.

Owning Air Rifles with Specific Felonies

Violent Offenses and Firearm Restrictions

When it comes to owning an air rifle in Florida, individuals with certain felony convictions face restrictions. Specifically, felons convicted of violent offenses are generally prohibited from possessing firearms, including air rifles.

The Florida Statutes categorize violent offenses as crimes that involve force or threat of force against another person. These offenses can range from assault and battery to robbery and murder. Given the potential for harm, it is understandable that the law restricts felons convicted of violent offenses from owning any type of firearm, including air rifles.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, individuals convicted of violent felonies lose their firearm rights permanently. This means that even if an air rifle is not considered a traditional firearm, felons with violent offenses are still prohibited from owning one.

Violating these restrictions can lead to serious legal consequences and further penalties.

Non-Violent Crimes and Air Rifle Ownership

On the other hand, individuals with non-violent felony convictions may have different restrictions when it comes to owning air rifles in Florida. While non-violent felons still face limitations, the laws are not as strict as those for individuals convicted of violent offenses.

According to the Florida Statutes, non-violent felons must wait for a specific period of time before they can possess any type of firearm, including air rifles. This waiting period, known as the “firearm disability period,” varies depending on the nature of the non-violent felony conviction.

For example, individuals convicted of certain non-violent felonies must wait three years before regaining their firearm rights, while others may have a waiting period of five or ten years.

It is important to note that the restoration of firearm rights for non-violent felons is not automatic. Individuals must go through a legal process to have their rights restored. This typically involves applying for a restoration of civil rights through the Florida Office of Executive Clemency.

The process can be complex and time-consuming, requiring individuals to provide evidence of rehabilitation and good conduct since their conviction.

Steps for Determining Air Rifle Ownership

Researching Individual Felony Classifications

When it comes to determining whether a felon can own an air rifle in Florida, one of the first steps is to research the individual felony classifications. Felonies are divided into different categories, such as first degree, second degree, and third degree.

Each category carries different penalties and restrictions. It’s important for felons to understand the classification of their offense and its impact on their rights.

Researching the specific laws and regulations surrounding felons and air rifle ownership in Florida is crucial. This can be done by consulting the Florida Statutes, which outline the state’s laws on firearms and weapons.

Section 790.23 of the Florida Statutes provides information on the possession of firearms and ammunition by convicted felons. This section covers various aspects of felon ownership, including restrictions on certain types of firearms.

Consulting Legal Resources

Consulting legal resources is another important step in determining air rifle ownership for felons in Florida. It is recommended to seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney who specializes in criminal law.

They can provide accurate and up-to-date information on the specific regulations and restrictions that apply to felons and air rifle ownership in the state.

Additionally, reaching out to organizations that focus on helping felons reintegrate into society can be beneficial. These organizations often have resources and information regarding the rights and restrictions that felons face, including information on air rifle ownership.

They can provide guidance and support in navigating the legal landscape.

It’s important to note that the information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. Laws and regulations can vary and change over time, so it is essential to consult with legal professionals and reliable resources to get the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Penalties and Risks of Violating Laws

When it comes to owning an air rifle as a felon in Florida, there are serious penalties and risks associated with violating the laws. It is essential to understand the consequences before making any decisions.

Fines and Criminal Charges

Florida law prohibits felons from owning or possessing firearms, including air rifles. If caught with an air rifle, a felon may face criminal charges. The penalties for this offense can range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the circumstances and the felon’s criminal history.

It is important to note that the penalties for possessing an air rifle as a felon are similar to those for possessing a firearm.

The severity of the charges and fines can vary based on factors such as the type of air rifle, the felon’s previous convictions, and the intended use of the weapon. It is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to understand the specific laws and potential consequences in your situation.

Seeking Expungement or Rights Restoration

If you are a felon in Florida and wish to regain your rights to own an air rifle or any other firearm, there may be options available to you. One such option is seeking expungement of your criminal record.

Expungement is a legal process that seals or erases a person’s criminal record, making it inaccessible to the public.

Expungement can be a complex and lengthy process, and it is highly recommended to consult with an attorney who specializes in criminal law. They can guide you through the process and help determine if you are eligible for expungement based on the specific circumstances of your case.

Another option is seeking rights restoration through the restoration of civil rights process. This process involves applying to have your civil rights, including firearm rights, restored by the state of Florida.

Again, consulting with an attorney is crucial to understanding the requirements and procedures for rights restoration.

It is important to note that the laws and processes regarding expungement and rights restoration can vary from state to state. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a legal professional who is familiar with the laws in your specific jurisdiction.

For more information on Florida’s laws regarding felons and firearm ownership, you can visit the official website of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at

Owning Air Rifles as a Felon in Other States

While this article focuses on the regulations in Florida, it’s important to note that air rifle ownership for felons varies from state to state. It’s crucial for individuals to understand the laws in their specific state in order to avoid any legal complications.

Similarities and Differences in Regulations

Just like Florida, many states have restrictions on felons owning air rifles. However, the specific regulations can vary significantly. Some states may have a complete ban on felons owning any type of firearm, including air rifles, while others may have more lenient regulations.

For example, in California, felons are prohibited from owning any type of firearm, including air rifles. On the other hand, states like Texas and Arizona allow felons to own air rifles as long as they are not classified as firearms under state law.

It’s important for felons to research and understand the regulations in their state to ensure compliance with the law. Consulting with a legal professional can provide clarity on the specific restrictions in place.

Navigating Interstate Transportation

For individuals who need to travel across state lines, it’s essential to understand the laws regarding the transportation of air rifles for felons. While some states may allow felons to possess air rifles, transporting them across state lines can still be problematic.

It’s important to research and abide by the laws of both the origin and destination states when transporting air rifles. This includes understanding any permits or licenses required, as well as complying with any restrictions on the type of air rifle being transported.

Additionally, it’s crucial to be aware of any federal regulations that may apply. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) provides guidance on interstate transportation of firearms, which can include air rifles in certain cases.


While Florida does allow felons to own air rifles in many instances, the laws are complex. This guide has provided an overview of key regulations, steps to take, and potential penalties for those looking to legally own air rifles with a felony record. With proper research and legal advice, most felons can determine if air rifle ownership is possible while remaining compliant.

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