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Florida Police Have Confiscated Thousands of Guns

In response to multiple mass shootings across the country, many states have enacted red flag gun laws. Red flag gun laws allow specific individuals to petition the court to remove a family member or roommate’s legally owned guns or other weapons. Red flag gun laws are intended to prevent people with mental disorders or violent instincts from accessing weapons to commit a crime.  If you have been charged with a violent crime in Orlando, Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law can help. Our attorneys have extensive experience successfully representing clients, and we can do the same for you. Contact our Orlando criminal defense law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.   Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law  The Florida legislature passed its own red flag gun law after the Parkland high school shooting that took place in 2018. The red flag gun law allows specific individuals to petition the court for risk protection orders. A judge will evaluate whether the defendant is a safety risk to him or herself or others. If so, the judge will order law enforcement officers to confiscate the at-risk individual’s guns.  Thousands of Florida Residents Have Been Ordered to Surrender Their Firearms According to the Tampa Bay Times, since Florida enacted its red flag gun law, Florida courts have ordered 2,654 residents to surrender their guns and ammunition. These individuals are also prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm for up to a year. The exact number of confiscated guns is not yet known to the public. Some gun owners only hold one weapon while others, like a man from Pinellas, turn in as 57 weapons. Florida police officers may have seized as many as 18,000 firearms so far.  Concerns Regarding Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law Since the enactment of the law, Florida judges have ordered the confiscation of a resident’s weapons an average of five times a day. To issue the risk protection order, a judge must determine that clear and convincing evidence that the individual is a danger to him or herself or others exists. There is some concern that disgruntled ex-spouses or partners could call and falsely report another person’s dangerous behavior.  What Happens to a Weapon that the Police Confiscate? Typically, police officers hold confiscated weapons in a vault until the time comes to return them. In some instances, an individual can transfer gun ownership to a family member, friend, or anyone else who is willing to hold them who undergo a background check.  Can I Take an Attorney to My Hearing? Yes, we recommend working with a skilled attorney during your hearing. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our attorneys have the skills and experience needed to represent you at a temporary risk order protection hearing assertively. We will advocate on your behalf and cross-examine any witnesses against you. Schedule your free initial consultation by contacting our Orlando criminal defense law firm today. Call 407-377-0150.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Firearm Crimes

Florida Residents Push for Stricter Gun Law

Florida gun control advocates are pushing local legislatures to ban semiautomatic rifles with high-capacity magazines. Passing a ban on semiautomatic rifles is an ambitious plan, especially in a Republican-controlled state senate. Survivors and relatives of those killed in the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and victims of the 2018 Parkland High School shooting are advocating for the political movement. Gun control advocates will seek to propose an amendment to the Florida constitution on the 2020 ballot.  Ban Assault Weapons Now is Behind Proposed Amendment Proponents of the semi-automatic weapon ban have formed a political committee called Ban Assault Weapons Now. The group has some bipartisan support. Al Hoffman, a Republican donor has already contributed $260,000 to the campaign. The group needs to gather the required amount of signatures to propose an amendment to the Florida constitution on the 2020 ballot. If the committee does acquire an adequate amount of signatures, the Florida Supreme Court must approve the language of the ballot proposition. The Ban Assault Weapons Now committee contends that many of the United States’ deadliest mass shooters have used semi automatic rifles. The Parkland shooter and the Las Vegas shooter, who killed 58 people, both used semi automatic rifles in their attacks.  Opponents of the Proposed Constitutional Amendment The National Rifle Association (NRA) is opposed to the proposed amendment. One of the NRA’s most powerful lobbyists, Marion Hammer, lives in Florida. Further, Florida law has always been comparatively lax when it comes to gun restrictions. Some Florida Republicans are also opposed to outlawing semi automatic rifles. Republican Representative James Grant stated that the proposed amendment’s language is so broad that it could outlaw sporting guns in Florida.  What Types of Weapons Would the Proposed Amendment Ban? The Ban Assault Weapons Now committee is seeking to ban sales of all new semiautomatic rifles and shotguns that are capable of holding over 10 rounds of ammunition in a detached or fixed magazine. The language of the proposed ban would target AR-15s and AK-46s. Most of these two kinds of popular rifles come with 30 round magazines. Some of the mass killers used semi automatic rifles with 100-round magazines. Does the Committee Have the Support of the Voters? The committee has only collected 106,000 signatures so far and needs a total of 766,000. A recent poll found that 59% of Florida voters supported a ban on assault weapons. Under Florida law, a constitutional amendment requires 60% voter support in order to pass. If You are Facing a Gun-Related Criminal Charge in Florida, We can Help If you are facing a gun-related criminal charge in Orlando, we can help. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, we have successfully defended many clients in guns or weapons-related charges. We know how to assertively defend our clients throughout the entire legal process. Contact our Orlando criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Firearm Crimes

Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law: What You Need to Know

Red flag gun laws have gained wide publicity in light of recent mass shooting events around the country. Red flag gun laws allow state courts to order the confiscation of guns from individuals the court deems to be a risk. President Trump recently called for a federal red flag law. Currently 17 states, including Florida, have passed red flag gun laws. Red flag laws are triggered when a person is a threat to themselves or others. Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law Florida Statute 790.401 was passed by the Florida legislature in response to the devastating 2018 Parkland school shooting. The law allows law enforcement officials and advocates to seek “risk protection orders” when they or anyone close to the person notices red flags that an individual poses a threat of harm him or herself.  The court receives an emergency request to temporarily prevent the at-risk individual access to guns. After reviewing the submission, Florida judges can order the confiscation of guns from the at-risk person.  Since the enactment of the law, Florida judges have signed off on 2,434 risk protection orders. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services which oversees gun licensing reports that 595 of these orders involved licensed Florida gun owners. Courts ordered a suspension of those resident’s gun licenses. Advocates or law enforcement can request that a judge have someone’s weapons removed for 14 days. After a full hearing, a judge can extend the order to up to a year at a time.  Criminal Gun-Related Charges in Florida Due to the complexity of some of Florida’s gun and weapons laws, many Florida residents may be violating a gun law without knowing it. The most commonly enforced criminal gun-related charges in Florida are the following: Allowing a minor (under the age of 16) access to a loaded firearm Possession of a firearm by a person who is a convicted felon Dischargement or possession of a weapon at any event sponsored by a school Improper exhibition of any dangerous weapon Carrying or concealing a firearm without a license to do so The penalties for conviction of a gun-related crime in Florida depend on the degree of the crime and other factors. For example, carrying a firearm without a license is a third-degree felony. Those convicted could face up to five years in prison, up to $5,000 in fines, or up to five years of probation.  Orlando Criminal Gun Charges Defense Attorneys If you are facing a gun-related charge in Florida, it is vital to secure skilled legal representation. Florida’s weapon enhancement charge can result in a 10 to 25-year minimum prison sentence. Hiring attorneys who will fight assertively on your behalf is essential. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our skilled Orlando criminal defense attorneys can help you fight your criminal charges. Contact our law office today to schedule your free initial consultation. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our attorneys have experience representing clients against all gun-related criminal charges.

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Medical Marijuana and Gun Ownership: What Florida Residents Should Know

More and more medical marijuana dispensaries are opening up in Florida. While this is great news for those who benefit from the drug to help with medical conditions, gun owners may want to take note. In Florida, you can’t be both a medical marijuana user and a gun owner. If you are found to be in possession of both a medical marijuana card and a gun, you could face serious federal charges. While Florida allows both medical marijuana and concealed carry, the law does not allow a resident to have both rights. When a person purchases a firearm, this restriction is listed on the forms. Under federal law, a user of marijuana—even medical marijuana—is not allowed to legally purchase a gun. That’s because the drug, which has been decriminalized in many states, is still considered a Schedule I drug under federal law. This is a situation where state and federal laws contradict each other. While the law has been challenged in court, the federal court upheld it, so it remains for now. The fact remains, though, that Florida residents are caught in a tough situation and must decide what is more important to them: medicine or the right to bear arms. Gun Ban for Medical Marijuana Users If you’re a user of medical marijuana in Florida, you are prohibited from engaging in the following activities: Possessing a gun Buying a gun Using a gun Selling a gun Giving a gun as a gift Transferring possession of a gun in some other way According to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, those who use marijuana in any form are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law. This is because marijuana is considered a dangerous and addictive drug that can cause erratic behavior. It is a Schedule I drug in the same category as LSD, mescaline, peyote and even heroin. Even though the right to bear arms is a constitutional right, federal law trumps state law. Legal precedence has supported federal law. One woman even tried to challenge the law. She took her case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but unfortunately lost. This is unjust and causes a lack of freedom, but it is the law for now. Don’t try to use marijuana and own a gun unless you want to spend a decade in prison. Contact an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney In Florida, guns and marijuana don’t mix. If you are a medical marijuana user in possession of a firearm, you could potentially face state and federal criminal charges. Such a charge could change your life dramatically. You could spend time in prison and face difficulties securing employment. Your criminal record will be negatively affected for life. If you are in this situation, do not hesitate to contact an Orlando criminal defense lawyer. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, we will aggressively fight to protect your rights. Contact our offices today at (407) 377-0150 to discuss your situation with us and see how we can help.

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Summary of Proposed Changes to Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Under the Second Amendment, gun owners have the right to bear arms. They also have certain rights depending on the state they live in. Every state allows concealed carry, which means that you can carry concealed weapons—to some degree. You are typically banned from bringing guns to schools, bars, hospitals and sporting events. If you plan to take your gun to other venues, you typically need a permit to do so, unless you live in one of these eight states: Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, Maine, Kansas, Vermont, Arizona and West Virginia. Gun laws can be confusing. If you have a permit for concealed carry for one state, it is not transferable to other states. For example, if you received your permit in Florida, it will not be valid in California. If authorities find out that you have a weapon, you could be arrested and charged with a felony. This is common among tourists and others who travel frequently to other states but are unaware of the laws in each state. Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act The good news is that you may not have to worry about this fate much longer. The House of Representatives recently passed a bill called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Under this law, each state would have to recognize a concealed carry permit from another state. This means that those with concealed carry permits can travel to any of the 50 states without fear of being arrested or punished. However, the act does not force states to change their existing laws. Each state has its own process for obtaining a concealed carry permit, and some are very stringent. The processes do not change under the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. However, once a person does obtain a permit in one state, that permit is valid in the other 49 states. Not Law Yet Keep in mind that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has not been enacted into law yet. While President Donald Trump, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and many other Republicans are on board with the law, there is naturally some criticism. After the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, Americans are—for the first time since 2000—supporting stricter gun laws. Some politicians—such as Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011—are also blasting the bill. Also against the bill is House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who claims the Republicans are catering to the whims of the NRA. Contact an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Many gun owners are unaware that concealed-carry permits are currently not valid in every state, which means that they can face felony charges for having firearms in their possession. This can lead to jail time and a criminal record. Fortunately, the law may be changing. In the meantime, if you are arrested for carrying a gun, do not hesitate to contact an Orlando criminal defense lawyer. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, we will aggressively fight to protect your rights. Contact our offices today at (407) 377-0150 to discuss your situation with us and see how we can help.

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GUN LAW UPDATE

Florida’s controversial stand your ground statute may be getting an update.  The “stand your ground” law allows people to use deadly force when they feel it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm and they do not have a duty to retreat from this perceived threat. Currently the law requires the defendant to prove that they should be shielded from prosecution and hearings are held where a judge makes a pre-trial determination as to whether or not the defendant has shown that they are immune from prosecution.  The Florida Legislature is considering changing the burden of proof and requiring the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this immunity from prosecution should be denied.  The proposed statute: (4)  In a criminal prosecution, once a prima facie claim of self-defense immunity from criminal prosecution has been raised by the defendant at a pretrial immunity hearing, the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is on the party seeking to overcome the immunity from criminal prosecution provided in subsection (1). The government would be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not justified in their actions rather than the defendant proving that they were justified.  This would be a major shift in how these types of cases are litigated and would maintain the presumption of innocence at these hearing once self-defense immunity has been raised. In addition to shifting the burden of proof, the Judicial Committee also backed an amendment that would make the testimony at a “stand your ground” hearing inadmissible at trial if the self-defense claim is denied by the court.  Currently the prosecution can use any statement made by a defendant in trial and this potential change to the law would prevent that from occurring.  This would allow the defendant to testify at a stand your ground motion but not give up the right to remain silent at a criminal trial. If you are interested in following the progression of SB 128, click here

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State of Emergency and Concealed Carry

I’m sitting here in my office waiting for Hurricane Matthew to make a decision as to where in Florida it is going to hit or I suppose if it will head east and never make landfall here. As I’m sure anyone who has been through a hurricane knows, there are certain things that you need to do in order to prepare. Some of the more obvious ones include water, batteries, and candles. Some people up their preparedness game and purchase a generator and extra cans of gasoline. Other people throw caution to wind and their preparation starts and ends with buying enough booze for the upcoming hurricane party. However, there are some actual laws take place when a hurricane or any disaster occurs and the governor declares a “State of Emergency”. For instance during a state of emergency it is illegal to sell or offer to sell any firearm or ammunition. It is also illegal to “intentionally possess in a public place a firearm.” These can all be found in Florida Statute 870.044. Another statue that effects people during a state of emergency is Florida Statute 790.01, which involves concealed weapons. Normally, the law prohibits a person who does not have a concealed weapons permit from carrying a firearm or other weapon. However, 790.01(3)(a) indicates that the concealed weapons prohibition does not apply during a mandatory evacuation during a state of emergency. This means that person may carry a concealed firearm or other weapon during a mandatory evacuation. This permission extends for 48 hours after the mandatory evacuation is ordered. All those in Florida stay safe. All those who have been ordered to evacuate, you can bring your weapon with you. All those who ignore the mandatory evacuation, enjoy the hurricane party.

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The Future of Open Carry in Florida

The number of states with bans on open carry laws may go down. Florida may soon have an open carry law after the controversial bill cleared its first hurdle on Tuesday. The bill passed through the Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee by an eight to four vote. There are still a few more steps that will need to be taken before a person will be able to carry a gun in public, however. Opponents of the law are calling for the State to at least require enhanced training if a person plans on carrying a gun in public. The Open Carry Law in Florida The Open Carry Law in Florida would allow gun owners who do not have criminal records to walk around with exposed guns. If the Open-Carry law passes in Florida, this may mean that those with concealed carry permits will be able to openly carry firearms. However, the Florida Democrats want to make sure that there is a provision in the bill that will make it illegal for people with mental health problems to carry a gun and require people to know how to safely maintain and protect their weapons. The politics and public policy issues surrounding a new open carry law are tremendous. A bill of this nature has significant hurdles to make before becoming law; however it’s interesting to see legislation proposals moving forward. Current Gun Law in Florida As of right now, a person is able to purchase a gun without a permit in Florida. However, in order to carry a concealed weapon this same person must have a permit and cannot have a criminal record. The current open carry laws make it illegal for a person to carry a weapon or firearm that is not concealed. It is currently legal for a person to carry a self-defense chemical spray or nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun. When a person violates the current open carry law in Florida, he or she can be charged with a misdemeanor in the second degree. The penalties include a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail. However, if a person improperly exhibits a firearm, they can face a misdemeanor in the first degree, which is punishable by up to a year in jail or 12 months probation, and a $1000 fine. Gun Charges in Florida If you have been charged with a gun-related offense in Florida, you can face prison time or be forced to pay a fine. It is essential that a person facing charges consults with an attorney. If you have any questions on the open carry or gun laws in Florida then you should contact our firm Moses and Rooth at 407-377-0150 for your free consultation today.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Firearm Crimes

Are Florida Campuses Becoming the Wild, Wild West? A Glimpse at Florida’s New Gun Laws

The Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and the Senate Criminal Justice Committee passed a bill that would allow college students to carry guns on college campuses. If the bill becomes a law, then students, faculty and employees with gun licenses will be able to legally carry concealed handguns on college campuses. This bill has become a heated topic of debate in Florida. Some are arguing that handguns would allow for self-defense while others feel that it is a recipe for disaster. Regardless of any feelings toward the bill, students should weigh the potential implications of carrying a weapon on campus. What Would the New Gun Law Allow? Currently, Florida gun law prohibits students from carrying handguns on college campuses. However, employees, students and faculty members are able to carry non-lethal defensive weapons such as stun guns or nonlethal electric weapons. The new law would allow students and faculty members with the proper permits the ability to bring handguns on campus. If the bill becomes a law, students who are interested in carrying handguns on campus will have to undergo a background check. It will be imperative for students who wish to carry concealed weapons to abide by rules regarding background checks. Those who fail to meet necessary deadlines but still carry guns may experience negative consequences that could potentially hurt their future. As such, students who are interested in carrying a gun on campus must ensure that they have taken the proper precautions outlined in the law as well as in their school’s gun codes. Implications of Allowing Guns On College Campuses Supporters of the bill stress that the purpose of the law is to keep campuses safe in the event of a mass shooting or other major occurrence. However, one concern is the effect that the added guns will have on students’ futures. Colleges are filled with students who are often in high-stress situations or involved in recreational drinking and drugs. Opponents fear that this combination could have disastrous effects. An accidental touch of the trigger could land a student with a bright future in jail. It is argued that those who wish to commit a crime with a handgun will do so regardless of whether there is a law that allows them to carry a gun. However, another bill that has passed would make it a misdemeanor to fire a weapon in a heavily populated area for celebratory or recreational purposes. Thus it is imperative that if either of these bills become law, students take proper precautions to ensure their guns are locked when in a heavily populated area. A student would not want to face misdemeanor charges for accidentally discharging a firearm. Do You Have Questions About Your Gun Rights? If you have any questions regarding how Florida’s gun laws affect your gun rights or are currently facing illegal gun possession charges, you should speak with an attorney. Our lawyers at Moses & Rooth keep themselves apprised of the new drug laws and drug charges affecting Florida residents. Contact us for your free consultation by calling 407-377-0150. Rooth keep themselves apprised of the new drug laws and drug charges affecting Florida residents. Contact us for your free consultation by calling 407-377-0150.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Firearm Crimes

Concealed Weapon Permit: Affirmative Defense to Concealed Weapons Charges

In Florida, if you have been charged with a crime, you have an opportunity to plead an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense is an assertion that, if true, will defeat the prosecution’s complaint, even if the allegations set forth in the complaint are true. In short, even if everything written in the complaint is true and you actually committed the crime, there are certain instances where you can plead an affirmative defense that will dismiss the action. In criminal cases, these affirmative defenses usually involve self-defense or defense of others, necessity, or even the stand-your-ground laws in Florida. Specifically, if you have been charged with a concealed weapon violation, having a concealed weapon permit is considered an affirmative defense that can defeat the complaint in Florida. Concealed Weapons Florida law allows eligible citizens to carry concealed weapons with a state-issued permit. A 21-year-old who can demonstrate competency with a firearm and does not have any felony convictions or other limiting characteristics will likely be eligible to receive a permit. A concealed carry permit in Florida allows the holder to have the license for seven years and to carry the weapon in most public areas. However, there are many specifically enumerated exceptions to this, mostly regarding governmental lands or properties. Some places concealed weapons cannot be carried in Florida include: Police stations and courthouses; Meetings of government or public school district; Any school, college, or professional athletic event; Bars; Most colleges or universities; and Federal lands. Those who carry concealed weapons lawfully are required to have their permit on their person when they carry their weapon, in addition to another form of identification. Those who do not have concealed carry permits cannot carry concealed weapons without violating the law. If a person is suspected, caught, or charged with carrying a concealed weapon and convicted, they will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If this weapon is a firearm, it will be a third-degree felony. However, if a person is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and they have a valid concealed carry permit, that person can plead an affirmative defense to the charges against them. Pleading an affirmative defense to a concealed weapon charge may require admitting you had the concealed weapon in the first place, but the essence of the affirmative defense is that the result will be a dismissal, regardless of the truth or falsity of the claims. Having a concealed weapon permit as an affirmative defense to carrying a concealed weapon may seem obvious, but it took until 2013 for the courts to make this connection clear. Making it clear that having a permit will negate a concealed weapon charge will help future litigants who have been charged with doing something they have a right to do. Orlando Gun Charge Defense Attorneys Our knowledgeable gun charge defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth can help you assert an affirmative defense if you have a concealed weapon permit. Even in the event that you do not, we will tactfully advocate a defense on your behalf and ensure the best outcome possible given your circumstances and criminal history. We have the experience necessary to defeat even the most serious gun charges and will advocate to have your gun rights recognized, permits reinstated, and make sure that you are being treated fairly. Contact our Orlando, Florida office today to ensure your legal rights are being protected.

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