The Broward Sheriff’s Office has removed 156 firearms from Broward County residents who posed a threat to themselves or others under a 10-month-old law.
On March 9, 2018, law enforcement was given a new tool to keep weapons out of the hands of violent or mentally unstable people. Since the statewide Risk Protection Order (RPO) Act went into effect, BSO has recovered firearms and ammunition from 88 adults and four children.
“Having this law tremendously enhances our ability to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. We will continue to use the laws, tools and information available to us to reduce threats and keep everyone safe,” Sheriff Scott Israel said.
The agency’s first successful court petition came nearly a month after Gov. Rick Scott signed the law, when a Deerfield Beach man tried to kill his friend. Following that shooting, BSO detectives filed an RPO on April 4, 2018 to have Jerron Smith surrender his weapons and ammunition. The court granted the order the next day. However, the 32-year-old refused to turn over his guns.
On April 5, 2018, Smith was arrested for violating the court’s order and violating the terms of his pre-trial release on the previous attempted murder charge. BSO deputies recovered several of Smith’s guns, a bump stock and numerous high-capacity magazines. He remains in BSO’s main detention facility awaiting trial.
Under the RPO Act, law enforcement must provide the court with clear and convincing probable cause that the defendant is a public safety risk. If approved, the order is good for a year. To extend the court’s order, an agency must provide evidence that the person remains a threat.
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