In April 2018, the Broward Sheriff’s Office obtained a temporary Risk Protection Order under Florida’s red flag law which required Smith to surrender his weapons to law enforcement after he had fired a gun into a car during an argument.
After a deputy read Smith the order, Smith did not immediately surrender his firearms and ammunition and refused to allow law enforcement inside his residence in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
Sheriff’s deputies then obtained and served a search warrant for the residence where deputies located and removed an AR-15, a .22 caliber rifle, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a bump stock, and numerous other weapon-related items from Smith’s home.
Smith was then the first person arrested under Florida’s red flag statute which became law on March 9, 2018.
Florida Red Flag Law Statute
In response to the Parkland shooting, the State of Florida enacted “The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act” under Florida Statute 790.401 which requires courts to proactively remove firearms from individuals (upon petitions filed by law enforcement agencies) who pose a significant danger to themselves or others.
Under Florida’s red flag law, a law enforcement agency can obtain a temporary Risk Protection Order to confiscate a person’s firearms and ammunition if a judge finds by “clear and convincing evidence that the person poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or herself or others by having in his or her custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or any ammunition.”
The temporary order cannot exceed 12 months.
Florida’s red flag law was recently upheld as constitutional by Florida’s First District Court of Appeals in September 2019.