Miami-Dade police utilize 'red flag' law to seize guns, ammunition from home

Subject to appear in court in 14 days

By Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Weapons were seized by authorities Wednesday from a South Florida home, and police are saying they had no choice but to take those guns.

The subject of the raid has been on the Miami-Dade Police Department's radar for two years. Thanks to the new "red flag" law enacted after the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and an escalation in threats from the man, police were able take his weapons temporarily.

Miami-Dade police left no detail to chance as they coordinated and conducted a risk protection order seizure, also known as an RPO.

The new gun law legislation gives police the power to seize guns from private citizens who are at risk of harming themselves or others. 

"They have been easy and they have been complicated," Miami-Dade police Lt. Louis Sierra said. 

Dozens of uniformed and undercover officers, and even paramedics, were briefed and on hand should the seizure go south. 

The caravan arrived at the subject's home, where he was asked to comply. A gun-sniffing dog was brought in to make sure all weapons were turned over.

Two different pistols were removed from the home, but authorities said they also found a lot of ammunition and the ammunition doesn't line up with the weapons. Police said the dog also alerted on two safes inside the home. 

"In this case, the owner consented, opened both safes (and) ensured (us) that there was nothing left in there," Sierra said. 

This was Miami-Dade police's 12th "red flag" raid. 

Meanwhile, the Broward Sheriff's Office has made 47 "red flag" requests and removed guns in 22 cases, including an arsenal from a home in Deerfield Beach. 

"He does have his day in court," Sierra said about Wednesday's subject. "He has a temporary hearing scheduled in 14 days. He can plead to the judge with an attorney regarding why he should have them back, and if he succeeds then no harm no foul. The weapons will be returned."

If the order is upheld, the person from whom the weapons were seized cannot legally buy a weapon for one year.

"Which gives us a year cooling period to be able to know that that person, through the legal means, is not going to be a threat to our community," Sierra said. 

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