The following is a video transcript.
Red flag laws, also known as risk protection orders, are found in Florida as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Act passed in March of 2018. Florida gun owners can have their firearms taken away from them without notice under our state’s red flag laws. Florida Statute 790.401, entitled “Risk Protection Orders” allows a law enforcement agency to petition the court for a temporary order to seize firearms from an individual they deem a risk of danger of causing injury to themselves or others by having firearms or ammunition in their custody or control.
Further, the risk protection order prohibits the individual from purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition while it is in effect. If the court issues a temporary risk protection order, within 14 days they must hold a hearing to determine if the temporary order will be withdrawn or become a final risk protection order, which may remain in place for up to one year.
WHO CAN PETITION FOR A RISK PROTECTION ORDER?
Currently, only law enforcement agencies may petition the court for a risk protection order, but there is legislation pending that if signed into law will allow relatives (including spouses, siblings, children, and parents) to petition for risk protection orders, and will require the person who is the subject of the order to respond in the county where the petitioner lives. Therefore, if a sibling in Key West petitions the court for a risk protection order for a brother in Tallahassee, then the brother in Tallahassee will be forced to defend against the risk protection order in Monroe County, which is a distance of more than 630 miles.
Please remember this is not the current law, but a proposed amendment to the law, which is currently pending. You can influence the final language of the amendment or help defeat it by contacting your elected Florida state senators and representatives, and let them know how you feel about the proposed law.
If you have any questions about red flag or any other firearm-related questions, give U.S. LawShield a call and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.
At least the impacted person has to show up in court. A big improvement. However, does this mean a person’s guns may not be taken away?
It seems to me the petitioner should have to file in the county where the subject lives, that is where the alleged risk is.
Unbelievable. The proposed amendment further turns due process upside down and can lead to incredible harassment and abuse. In the example used, it could easily cost the gun owner in Tallahassee hundreds of dollars of travel expenses and lost wages, in order to travel 600 miles to Key West, to respond to the petition, and the gun owner might have to make multiple trips.