Gun Laws & Legislation

Floridians Turning In Their Guns Under New Law

REUTERS/Joe Skipper

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Gun owners considered to be a threat to themselves or others are being forced to relinquish their weapons under a new Florida law.

As Tampa Bay ABC-affiliate WFTS-TV reported Monday, police have confiscated about 200 firearms under the Risk Protection Order legislation that was signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 people dead.

Sgt. Jason Schmittendorf of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office told the station that authorities have collected “around 30,000 rounds of ammunition” from the approximately 450 people thus far affected by the law.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri assured reporters that due diligence is being exercised in the confiscation of the guns as every request for confiscation has to be approved by a judge.

“It’s a constitutional right to bear arms, and when you are asking the court to deprive somebody of that right, we need to make sure we are making good decisions — right decisions — and the circumstances warrant it,” he told WFTS.

So far, Florida judges have approved every confiscation.

The law was first enforced in April when police forced a military veteran to give up his AR-15 semiautomatic. Jerron Smith wanted to keep his firearm but police took it anyway, along with a .22 caliber rifle, ammunition rounds and a bump stock.

The legislation has also banned the sale of rifles to anyone under the age of 21 and mandated a waiting period of three days before the sale of any gun.

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