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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Are Certain Calibers Banned in Florida?

Are Certain Calibers Banned in Florida?


Cartridges come in many different calibers, from the diminutive .17 HMR to the insane .950 JDJ. If you are a firearm enthusiast, you might be wondering whether it is legal to explore some of these larger calibers. The answer is somewhat confusing. As with so many other aspects of firearm legislation, you must consider both state and federal gun laws when choosing particular high-caliber ammunition.

.50 Caliber Rifles Are Legal in Florida 

One of the most popular large-caliber rifle cartridges across the United States is the .50 BMG. This type of ammunition is specifically designed for use in anti-materiel rifles, and it is used by snipers across many different militaries. Despite its military applications, it is also a favorite among firearm enthusiasts in Florida due to its excellent ballistic performance over long ranges. It is worth mentioning that Florida has absolutely zero laws prohibiting these larger caliber cartridges. Another related round is the .50 Action Express, which is designed for use in the legendary Desert Eagle handgun.

While .50 caliber ammunition is legal in Florida, armor-piercing ammunition is not. Since .50 cartridges are designed to pierce armor in military applications, this is something firearm enthusiasts should keep in mind when sourcing ammunition. If you are obtaining military surplus ammunition, make sure that it is not defined as “armor-piercing” under state and federal law. Unless you have the appropriate permit, it might be illegal to purchase and possess these cartridges.

Certain Calibers May Be Considered Destructive Devices 

Florida does not appear to have any legislation that specifically targets ammunition of a certain caliber. Assuming that it is not explosive or armor-piercing, it would be legal to own even the largest calibers – such as 20 mm or .950. However, the ownership and purchase of the firearms designed to fire these cartridges is a different story.

If the firearm is designed to fire a round over .50, it might be designated as a “destructive device.” While destructive devices are still technically legal from a federal standpoint, they require additional licensing steps, tax stamps, and many other steps outlined by the ATF.

It is also worth mentioning that despite their bore size, shotguns are exempt from this requirement. These are seen as having a clear “sporting purpose.” On the other hand, a large-caliber anti-materiel rifle might have a questionable sporting purpose, and you might need to explain why exactly you would like to obtain or use this type of firearm.

Find a Qualified Firearm Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale 

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer, look no further than Haber Blank, LLP. While the possession of certain calibers may be illegal in some situations, the laws surrounding this subject are somewhat unclear. To approach criminal charges with greater clarity, it might be worth booking a consultation for specific guidance based on your unique situation.




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