Last month we blogged about Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s desire to ban weapons in a 4 mile radius of downtown Tampa during the Republican National Convention in August. His only hope for making this happen was in asking Governor Rick Scott to bypass state law (within his power under certain emergency circumstances). But Gov. Scott announced this week that he will not be supporting the ban. [Read more…]
Tampa Looks to Temporarily Ban Weapons During RNC
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is seeking the assistance of Governor Rick Scott in an effort to keep firearms as far away from the Republican National Convention as possible. State law prevents the city from passing any ordinance, whether temporary or permanent, that would prohibit firearms carried with a concealed weapons permit. Buckhorn hopes Scott can use his authority to create a temporary solution. [Read more…]
More Floridians Carrying Concealed Weapons
The case of teenage shooting victim Trayvon Martin, killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has shined a light on Florida’s gun laws, among other things. Zimmerman was licensed to carry a concealed firearm and he’s far from alone. As of last month, just under 920,000 Florida residents had concealed weapons permits. [Read more…]
FL Sheriff’s Lobbyist Avoids Criminal Charges By Pleading Ignorance
Last year a top lobbyist for Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings broke the law. Captain Mike Fewless broke a few, actually. But he avoided prosecution by claiming he didn’t know he was breaking the law, a defense that doesn’t work for the common citizen. [Read more…]
Florida Bans City Restrictions on Guns
The State of Florida is in charge of gun laws there and they don’t want cities and localities infringing on their authority. That’s the argument behind a new law that effectively strikes down all local laws limiting gun ownership. And the law has some teeth. For cities and counties that refuse to back down, there will be fines. [Read more…]
House Subcommittee Passes Open Carry Law
Legislators are considering a broadening of the laws regarding just how you carry your firearm. Specifically, some want to make it acceptable for licensed owners to carry a weapon in plain sight. Called an open-carry law, this legislation has passed a House subcommittee but still has some lawmakers to win over before it becomes reality. [Read more…]
More Floridians Carrying Concealed Weapons
In a trend that can be followed across the country, many people are carrying guns. [Read more…]
Assault Rifles Responsible for 8 Year Old’s Sleeping Death
In the early morning hours in St. Petersburg several weeks ago over 50 shots rang out and ripped through a Barlett Park home. Inside, 8 year old Paris Whitehead Hamilton was sleeping. Three of those bullets struck the girl, killing her while she slept. This happened in a scene played out many times across the country involving gang retaliation and assault weapons.
It didn’t take long for officers to arrest the first of four suspects in his apartment. What was found there didn’t surprise the police as assault weapons, drug paraphernalia, and firearms are fairly commonplace in the ruthless world of street gangs. This article from the St. Petersburg Times compares owning an assault weapon to any other teenage trend in that everyone involved in that sort of scene wants or already owns one. [Read more…]
Florida Drunk Driver Denied Bail After Accident that Left 3 Children Dead
According to the Miami Herald, a Miami judge ordered Gabriel Delrisco remain behind bars pending his trial this week. Delrisco was behind the wheel of a minivan that struck a vehicle carrying a father and his three children. All three kids, ages 10, 7, and 4, died as a result of the accident.
While drivers typically charged with DWI/DUI manslaughter are let out on bail, the judge decided Delrisco’s record made him an unusual risk. He remains under suicide watch at the Miami-Dade jail.
The prosecution in the case pointed out that Delrisco has had 26 tickets during the past 8 years including one DUI. He did, however, have a valid license at the time of the accident. [Read more…]
Florida Gun Laws: More Restrictions Needed?
New questions are being raised after a Florida woman with mental health problems purchased a gun, and used that gun to kill herself and a friend three days later. The woman had a history of drug abuse, and had been held for mental evaluation on several previous occasions.
Florida’s gun laws are not considered very strict when it comes to preventing people from purchasing guns who may have a history of mental health issues.
The standard for refusing to sell someone a gun includes mental health conditions where a person is determined to be “mentally defective”, or a person who has been institutionalized involuntarily. However, the term “mentally defective” is open to interpretation, and is not necessarily clear in the law.
Florida firearms dealers are required to submit a request to the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to perform a background check on a person before selling them the gun. The background check, which takes three days, includes searches for disqualifying events such as felony convictions or misdemeanors if they are domestic violence related, open restraining orders, as well as the known mental health issues.
However, private sales and gun shows are not required to perform the same background checks.
In this case, the check would not have made a difference, since the woman was not disqualified for gun ownership under the existing mental health condition restrictions.
This tragic case will likely bring new calls for tighter restrictions on red flags for mental health conditions that should restrict firearms ownership in Florida.
If you have been charged with a criminal gun possession or related weapons charges on Florida, please contact our defense lawyers for a consultaiton and free case evaluation.