Republican Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law on March 9th
As it’s been only a few weeks, there aren’t great statewide numbers yet, but the Miami News Herald reports that seven people in Broward County alone have had their guns confiscated.
In a truly surprising sequence of events, it took less than one month from the massacre at a Parkland high school for Florida lawmakers to take actual legislative action. March 9, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill allowing law enforcement to petition the courts to take guns away from people thought to be a danger to themselves or others. It was the first firearm restrictions supported by Florida Republicans in more than 20 years.
Though the law is only three weeks old, court records show it’s already having a real-world effect in South Florida. In Broward County, law enforcement has successfully petitioned the courts to take guns away from seven people, including a mentally ill man who kept a “diary of delusions,” a teenager whose peers were concerned he could be the next school shooter, and a disgruntled employee who threatened to shoot up his office. (No cases have been filed so far in Miami-Dade, according to a judicial spokesperson.)
Some of the persons who’ve had their guns confiscated do sound a bit “out there.”
Here’s a sampling:
The Sheriff’s Office also asked a judge to keep guns away from Lasandra Johnson, a 34-year-old who purposefully crashed her car into a BSO substation, because she posed a danger to herself and others.
Lighthouse Point, a wealthy coastal community north of Fort Lauderdale, has also petitioned to remove firearms from two residents. In the first case, police were alerted to a mentally ill 56-year-old who believed his condo’s electrical breakers were controlling him. When officers arrived to investigate, the man denied having firearms despite the fact that police could clearly see a gun in the pocket of his cargo shorts. He complained of being targeted by a shape-shifting person who looked “like Osama bin Laden” and kept a phone-book-size “diary of delusions” that described “the smell of burned bodies and baptized murdered children.”
The second case involved a 32-year-old who threatened to go to his job at a used-car dealership and “spray the place up” with “the most devastating bullets.” According to reports, the man, who owned at least three guns, texted a favorite co-worker that he should take a certain Friday off work so he wouldn’t be killed in the shooting.
The case getting the most attention is that of the Parkland shooter’s brother who was Baker Acted two days after the Parkland shooting.
Miami News Herald continues:
The Broward Sheriff’s Office filed a petition for risk protection order against the accused Parkland shooter’s brother Tuesday afternoon.
BSO filed the order one day after deputies arrested Zachary Cruz for trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
. . . . Under the law, a court can prohibit a violent or mentally ill person from possessing a firearm or other weapon. Law enforcement is able to petition a court to have the person surrender a firearm and prohibit a person from possessing or buying guns.
. . . . In the order, BSO said they are pursuing the order because “there is a reason to believe [Cruz] has a mental health illness” and is a danger to himself. BSO cited that Zachary Cruz is the brother of Nikolas Cruz, who was indicted on 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17-counts of attempted murder.
Zachary Cruz is accused of passing all locked doors and trespassing at Stoneman Douglas High School to “reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in.”
. . . . Cruz was Baker Acted two days after the Parkland shooting after an evaluation determined he was a danger to himself, the order states.
Sheriff’s office records show a pattern of violent and combative behavior by Cruz over the past six years, a deputy wrote in the order.
Cruz is accused of hitting glass doors, turning over furniture, cursing, and threatening and fighting family members.
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