[Ed. – Slippery slope]
On a recent afternoon, Sgt. Jason Schmittendorf took us inside an evidence room where the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office is holding firearms recently surrendered under Florida new Risk Protection Act.
“You’ve got an AK-47 style here and an AR-15 style there. We’ve got some rifles and a cache of handguns,” as Schmittendorf describes some of the weapons his team has pulled out for our cameras to get video of.
“In all, we’ve taken in about 200 firearms and around 30,000 rounds of ammunition,” he said.
The law, swiftly passed after the Parkland school shooting on Valentine’s Day, temporarily strips gun owners of their gun rights and hardware if a judge deems them to be a threat to themselves or others.
In Pinellas County, a 5-man team is devoted to working only risk protection cases. So far the team has filed 64 risk protection petitions in court, the second highest number of cases in a Florida county. Broward County has the most, 88 risk protection petitions (as of early-July) since the law took effect in mid-March.