Key Details to Know About Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law
Red flag gun laws have been in the news headlines a lot recently because of the controversial impact they have on an individual’s Second Amendment rights. In general, these statutes allow courts to order law enforcement to confiscate firearms under certain circumstances. Several US states, including Florida, have enacted red flag gun laws as a strategy to prevent mass shootings and related tragedies.
However, these laws have the negative side effect of crushing the rights of lawful gun owners. You should discuss your situation with a Florida gun crimes defense lawyer, but read on for some basic information about red flag laws.
Overview of Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law: Shortly after the Parkland shooting in February 2018, Florida lawmakers enacted a statute on “Risk Protection Orders” within the state criminal code. The law allows law enforcement to file a petition for such an order when an individual shows signs that he or she may cause significant danger to himself, herself, or others. When anyone notices these “red flags,” a court can issue an emergency order to prevent that person from accessing firearms. A judge may also order confiscation of weapons under certain circumstances.
Red Flag Laws in Practice: Since the statute was passed, judges throughout the state have signed more than 2,400 risk protection orders. In many cases, these orders were entered by the court without providing notice to the person against whom they were sought – at least initially. If the petition is valid, the law allows a court to act on an “ex parte” basis and confiscate firearms without giving notice to the rightful owner. However, a full hearing with proper notice to the respondent must be held within 14 days thereafter. Based upon arguments and evidence on both sides of the issue, a judge can extend the red flag order for a year – and can extend it annually afterwards.
Other Gun Crimes Charges in Florida: The red flag law is a hot topic in many media outlets, but there are many other firearms and weapons laws you need to know. Some of the most common legal violations that could lead to gun charges include:
- Allowing a person under 16 years old access to a firearm, at times by not locking it up;
- Possession of a gun by an individual who has been convicted of a felony;
- Improper brandishing or discharging a weapon;
- Possession of a firearm at a school, government building, airport, or other zone where prohibited by law;
- Carrying or concealing a firearm without the proper license; and,
- Many more.
Trust a Florida Gun Crimes Defense Attorney to Fight Red Flag Laws
If you are facing allegations under Florida red flag laws, it’s essential to retain a knowledgeable defense lawyer right away. On the one hand, your Second Amendment rights are at stake; at the same time, you could face serious penalties for violations of gun laws. For more information on defense options, please contact Fort Lauderdale gun crime attorney Kevin J. Kulik. We set up a consultation at our Fort Lauderdale office to review your circumstances and determine the best way to protect your interests.