(May 2, 2018)
Broward County is leading the state in enforcement of the new gun restrictions Gov. Rick Scott signed into law in March.
The Red Flag gun law, passed March 5, was written to allow local law enforcement to confiscate weapons from those displaying emotional problems, or posing a direct danger to others. This made Florida one of the select-few states to have such a law.
In the emotional weeks following the loss of 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, many Floridians — in fact, many Americans — called for a strengthening of Florida’s gun laws.
A number of new gun restrictions were suggested and many passed, despite no connection to the mass shooting Feb. 14. A ban on bump stocks, and an extension of the waiting period to buy a gun were also passed, even though those components had no relevance in the Parkland shooting. (Other suggested ideas, such as banning high-capacity magazines, and banning sales to those on the terrorist watch list, also bore no connection to events in Parkland.)
With the Red Flag law now in effect, the Sun-Sentinel looked into how counties across the state were enacting the new legislation. The newspaper found that, while many had begun to use this new tool, Broward county far exceeded all others in the enforcement and seizing of firearms under this law. To date, Broward authorities have taken a confiscation action 34 times. The Orlando area was a distant second, with a total of just five cases.