Hundreds of gun owning Floridians have been ordered to surrender their firearms under a new ‘Red-Flag’ law signed by the governor just three weeks after a gunman entered Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire.
The Risk Protection Order, signed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, essentially strips a person’s second amendment rights if a task force team and a judge believe it is warranted – meaning if the person shows any signs of being a threat to themselves or others.
According to WFTS-TV, Sgt. Jason Schmittendorf, of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, said approximately 200 guns have been confiscated in Florida since the red-flag law was enacted. “Around 30,000 rounds of ammunition were also taken,” he stated.
The team has reportedly filed 64 risk protection petitions in court, which is the second highest number of cases in a Florida county – Broward County has the most, with 88 risk protection petitions filed since the law was ordered into effect in mid-March.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri – who chairs the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission – shared this sentiment when asked about his decision to devote an entire unit to carry out the new law:
“It’s a constitutional right to bear arms and when you are asking the court to deprive somebody of that right we need to make sure we are making good decisions, right decisions and the circumstances warrant it.”
According to the report, every petition filed under the order in Pinellas County has been granted by the judge, with the vast majority involving people with a previous history of mental illness.