How Do Florida’s ‘Red Flag’ Gun Laws Work?

The recent rise of the term “red flag” on social media has led it to be used as a descriptor for everything from bad partners to Florida laws. Florida’s “red flag” gun laws are more substantial than the nickname might suggest, though. State legislation allows members of law enforcement to confiscate the weapons of those parties they feel represent dangers to themselves or others.

How specifically, though, do Florida’s ‘red flag’ gun laws work? How, too, can you fight back if the state attempts to confiscate your weapons? The Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford can stand with you and defend your right to maintain your existing weapons cabinet.

Florida’s Red Flag Laws

Florida’s red flag gun laws are designed to protect allegedly dangerous residents from themselves. They are also supposedly meant to protect others from the harm that an allegedly dangerous individual may do to the general population. More specifically, these laws allow law enforcement to confiscate firearms of residents who have displayed a history of dangerous behavior. Friends or families of a particular individual can file their concerns with local police officers.

In turn, those parties can request that police officers go to a person’s home with probable cause under their belts and remove firearms from the residence. The document used to remove these firearms from a home is not a warrant but rather a type of protection order. 

Police officers only have the right to retain your weapons temporarily. However, during this time of possession, the parties from whom the weapons have been confiscated do not have the right to purchase additional weapons.

Certain Circumstances Give Florida Police Officers the Right to Act

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a report requesting the confiscation of your weapons, know that you are not alone. Our attorneys can work with you to fight for your right to gun possession.

In most cases, the individuals reported under the red flag law are accused of:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Plans of domestic violence
  • Stalking
  • Violating a protective order
  • Acquiring unusual quantities of weapons and or ammunition


Police officers in Florida will also use a person’s record of poor mental health to justify removing the firearms from their home. That said, all parties who wish to see firearms removed from a certain premises must present evidence of a threat to a judge. In turn, that judge has the right to determine whether or not firearms may be confiscated.

Challenging Red Flag Claims

Unfortunately, you do not have a say as to whether or not family or friends file a red flag claim concerning you. You can, however, take action in the wake of the removal of firearms from your property. You can appeal your case by filing the appropriate documents after police officers confiscate your weapons.

An RPO, or risk protection order, allows you to request that the red flag charge brought against you be overruled. Both of you and an attorney can argue for your sound mental health, lack of dangerous intentions, and history of responsible gun ownership

Reach Out to an Experienced Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Florida’s red flag laws are based in good faith. The state and local law enforcement want to help protect residents from themselves and others they perceive to be a danger to the public. Unfortunately, law enforcement may be quick to misinterpret the guidelines set forth by these laws.

If you’re facing the possible confiscation of your firearms, contact the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford. We can advocate for your right to retain possession of your firearms. You can learn more about our defense services by calling our office at (239) 315-9750 or filling out our contact form.

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