State Watch

More than 450 Floridians ordered to surrender guns under ‘red flag’ law

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More than 450 people in Florida have been ordered to surrender their guns since March under a law passed after the Parkland school shooting, according to a local ABC affiliate.

The Risk Protection Act, a “red flag” law that Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed shortly after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in February, allows the state to take away guns from their owners if a judge finds they are a threat to themselves or others.

Under the law, the state can file risk-protection petitions against irresponsible gun owners in court. 

Sgt. Jason Schmittendorf, who works in Pinellas County Sheriff’s office, told ABC News that area officers have “taken in about 200 firearms and around 30,000 rounds of ammunition.” 

{mosads}Around a quarter of the 467 risk-protection cases filed in Florida since March “involve concealed license firearm holders whose license temporarily is suspended once the order is granted,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

A majority of risk-protection cases have involved people with histories of mental illness who threatened to hurt themselves, according to an analysis of Pinellas County records by ABC.

According to reports that emerged in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas shooting which left 17 dead, the accused shooter engaged in threatening and troubling behavior before he lashed out. 

The measures signed by Scott on March 9 raised the minimum age for buying rifles in Florida from 18 to 21 and established waiting periods and background checks for gun buyers. 

Many Parkland students and their families became vocal anti-violence advocates after the shooting, and a group of survivors launched the multimillion-dollar gun control group March for Our Lives.

The group’s most visible leaders have become public figures with millions of followers on Twitter.

March for Our Lives leaders are spending the summer touring areas of the U.S. that are heavily affected by gun violence while the families of Parkland victims are launching an advocacy group called Stand With Parkland.


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