Red flag laws receive a lot of attention in the media, with many arguing that these laws are unfair because they violate a person’s Second Amendment right to possess a firearm. Although that may be true, in a response to the Parkland shooting, Florida has become one of the latest states to enact such a law.
This civil rights law is intended to prevent mass shootings just like the one in Parkland, but the law is so broad, often people who do not pose a danger to anyone have their firearms taken away from them, which is an infringement on their rights. It is for this reason that all gun owners in Florida should be aware of the law, and the rights they still have within it.
The Red Flag Law in Florida
The red flag law is known in the statutes as, ‘Risk Protection Orders.’ Under the statute, anyone that believes a firearm owner is a risk to themselves or anyone else can petition the court to issue an emergency order. This order prevents the person, that is allegedly a risk to others, from having access to firearms, even when they own those firearms. In some situations, a judge can also issue an order that demands the allegedly dangerous person to turn in their firearms. Sometimes, the firearms owner is not even notified about the confiscation of their weapons. When that happens, it is known as an ex-parte order.
Your Rights Under the Law
Even though a person’s firearms may be confiscated under the law, and even though the court is not required to provide notice of this confiscation, you still have rights under the law. You have the right to attend a hearing within two weeks of having your firearms confiscated. At this hearing, you can argue your side of the story, although law enforcement or the individual that flagged you initially will also have a chance to present their side of the story.
After hearing both sides, the judge will decide whether to return your firearms to you, or whether to extend the risk protection order for one year. If the judge decides to extend the red flag order, they can also review the case and extend it every year afterwards, as well.
Since the statute was enacted into law in 2018, there have been over 2,500 risk protection orders issued within the state.
Our Florida Civil Rights Lawyers will Uphold Your Rights
There are certain rights every one in the United States has, and the right to own firearms is one of them. It should not be taken away simply because someone raised a red flag. If you have had your firearms taken away, you should not attend the hearing on your own. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando civil rights attorneys can represent you, ensure your rights are upheld, and give you the best chance of success with your case. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help with your case.