In the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, shooting that left 17 people dead, Florida has been one of the first states to introduce stricter gun laws, and this time the effects are being felt by one of its residents.
A 56-year-old Lighthouse Point, Florida, resident had both his guns and ammunition confiscated after authorities deemed him unfit to own them.
According to the Broward County Sun Sentinel, authorities seized “four firearms and 267 rounds of ammunition” from the man’s home as police continue following new regulations signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Scott last week.
The man, who has remained unnamed, was also taken to a hospital for “involuntary psychiatric treatment” under Florida’s “Baker Act.”
The confiscation itself is part of legislators’ new attempt to crack down on possible threats from gun owners. The legislation allows the confiscation of guns from citizens who are deemed a potential risk to themselves or others, even if they have not been committed to psychiatric care.
The Florida resident is also prohibited from attempting to buy or obtain in any way guns or ammunition.
According to reports, the confiscated weapons range from “Ruger LCP .380 pistol, an M2 Mauser .45 pistol, a Charter Arms .357 mag snub nose revolver” to a “Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun.”
The bill itself has caused further controversy in the ongoing debate on gun laws and citizens’ right to bear arms, as it instituted further waiting periods for long gun purchases and raised the minimum age for those guns from 18 to 21.
The $400 million gun bill will also allow a member of one’s family or law enforcement officials to petition a Florida judge to order a search and seizure of an individual’s legally owned firearms. In line with sentiments from President Donald Trump, the law also bans bump stocks.
Before the law was enacted, officials who had attempted the removal of guns from citizens could have been fined up to $5,000 and potentially removed from office.
Local police had made a request on March 14 to confiscate the guns after they’d been called to conduct a “welfare check” earlier in the week on the Lighthouse resident.
Reports given to police stated that the man had been acting strangely at the condominium building he lived in. The incident was just one of the numerous encounters authorities had with the man.
Although he had no prior arrests in Florida, records showed he had been arrested in Pennsylvania.
According to a report from a Florida judge, the resident told officers at the latest encounter that he was “being targeted and burglarized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a neighbor who lives in (his) building.”
He “could not describe the neighbor but stated that the neighbor (can) ‘shape shift,’ he can change heights and I’m not sure where he comes from’ and ‘to be honest, he looks like Osama Bin Laden,’” the report stated.
Though no other news on the Florida resident — whose identity is being kept hidden due to his medical condition — has been heard, the Lighthouse Point Mayor Glenn Troast seemed in agreement with the decision.
“We put the safety of our residents first,” Troast said, adding that he maintains a healthy respect for gun owners’ rights. “This is not about the Second Amendment and it’s not about the NRA.”
“We need commonsense gun laws,” he added. “And this is a commonsense gun law that gives police officers new tools they need to help us protect our community.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.