How South Florida Is Using “Red Flag Law”

As part of the comprehensive gun control measures passed under the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Safety Act, were Florida’s “red flag”, or risk protection laws. This enabled law enforcement to be able to carry out a warrant to search and detain firearms from a person deemed to be a credible mental health risk under the state’s law. Once the order is carried out a legal process ensues and ultimately, it’s a judge’s discretion as to if the firearms are to be returned to those they were detained from originally. Given the sensitivity of the topic and the concern by lawful gun owners that this potentially is government overreach, I’ve been following the adaptation by the state. To date, it seems to have been carried out responsibly. That being said, the aggressiveness by law enforcement is on display with the latest info from the state now in. With 2,200+ orders now carried out, South Florida ranks with 326 in Broward, 125 in Miami-Dade, and 53 in Palm Beach.

When you adjust for population size, Broward is one of the most aggressive. It's 13th of Florida’s 67 counties, while Dade and Palm Beach Counties are far less aggressive at 39th and 44th. Interestingly, Polk County, home to Stoneman Douglas Committee leader, Sheriff Grady Judd a Republican, easily leads the state in orders carried at 365 and when adjusting for the population. In other words, it doesn’t appear that politics has played a role when we look across our state. Based on what I know it’s been responsibly carried out across Florida. As the national conversation turns towards more gun control, I continue to think Florida’s a model that can be used. 

 

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