Use of Deadly Force for Lawful Self-Defense
A Message from Commissioner Adam Putnam
To carry a concealed firearm is to take on an immense responsibility. It is very important to understand that a license to carry a concealed weapon does not give the license holder discretionary authority to use that weapon. It is my sincere hope that you will never find it necessary to use your weapon in self-defense; however, if circumstances require you to do so, you should know that the law will protect you only if your actions in using deadly force have been consistent with the law.
The background and links provided below are intended to inform you what the law says concerning the use of deadly force in lawful self-defense. I hope that you will read the law carefully and that you will use caution in carrying your concealed weapon and in using it to defend yourself.
Adam H. Putnam
Chapter 776, Florida Statutes
Chapter 776, Florida Statutes, is Florida law pertaining to the justifiable use of force.
Chapter 776 was amended by the Legislature in 2005. The changes that took effect on October 1, 2005, extended the provisions of what is known as the “Castle Doctrine,” declaring that a person has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force if that force is necessary to prevent death, great bodily harm or the commission of a forcible felony.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is not authorized to provide specific guidance concerning the use of deadly force to concealed weapon license holders. The department is charged by statute with administering the provisions of the concealed weapon licensing program in accordance with section 790.06, Florida Statutes. However, that is the limit of the department’s authority.