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Criminal Defense Blog

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Public Safety Act

On March 9, 2018, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Public Safety Act, which tightens gun control in several ways. First, it raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18. It also bans the sale or possession of bump fire stocks and it gives law enforcement greater authority to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit. The legislation allows a law enforcement officer who is taking a person into custody for an involuntary examination under the Baker Act to seize and hold a firearm or ammunition from the person for at least 72 hours, or until the person appears at the agency to retrieve the firearm or ammunition.

The statue also creates a process for law enforcement officers or agencies to petition a court for a "risk protection order" to temporarily prevent people who are at high risk of harming themselves or others from accessing firearms. The orders can last up to a year, but can be vacated or extended by a judge. Factors that could contribute to a judge granting a risk protection order against an individual could include acts or threats of violence, the existence or violation of a previous risk prevention order, evidence the respondent is abusing controlled substances or alcohol and evidence of the individual being seriously mentally ill or having recurring mental health issues.


Mr. Eisenberg is one of only a handful of criminal defense attorneys in all of Sarasota County who has been recognized by the Florida Bar as a Board Certified Criminal Trial Expert.

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