Law enforcement in Broward County, which includes Parkland, was able to remove over 400 firearms from individuals found at risk to harm themselves or others due to the indispensable Extreme Risk Protection Order bill passed after the Parkland shooting, according to a report by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
"There are too many anniversaries of gun violence that we commemorate in our country and I think this report will hopefully show people that it doesn't have to be this way," says Kelly Drane, a research manager at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Also known as a Red Flag Law, Florida's bill allows, after a petition comes before the court, a judge to order a person's guns seized immediately for up to 14 days, without allowing the person an opportunity to fight the temporary order in court. Before the initial 14 day period expires, the court will set a hearing to consider a "final order," which can result in a person being barred from owning or buying a gun for up to a year.
Many others have noticed the impact and effectiveness of Extreme Risk Protection Orders in both Florida and across the country. Broward Circuit Chief Judge Jack Tuter, who has heard about one risk protection order case a day in his Fort Lauderdale courtroom, called the tool "clearly" effective, especially in cases where mental health was a factor.
"What right does a person have if they are in acute mental health crisis and are in possession of a weapon? I think you really forfeit your right until you can at least get in front of a judge," Tuter said.