Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law: What You Need to Know
Written by Moses & Rooth on October 14, 2019
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.