Even if you have not been convicted of a felony or domestic violence offense, there are still certain circumstances under which the state of Florida may consider you ineligible to receive a concealed carry permit or prohibit you from possessing firearms altogether. One of the more common scenarios is “firearm disability.” This occurs when someone struggling with drug addiction or mental health problems is subjected to court-ordered treatment for that issue.
While it is possible to have a “firearm disability” removed from your record, it is far from a simple process, and there is no guarantee of getting a favorable result. If you want the best chance of success with your petition to remove firearm disability in Avalon Park, you should speak with an experienced gun rights attorney as soon as possible.
Florida Statutes § 790.064 states that anyone who has been “adjudicated mentally defective” or committed to a mental institution by court order is prohibited from lawfully purchasing or owning firearms in the state. In this context, someone being adjudicated mentally defective means that a court has decided the person presents a danger to themselves or others or is incapable of managing their own affairs on a day-to-day basis due to a mental illness, cognitive deficiency or dysfunction, incompetency, or “marked subnormal intelligence.”
Being deemed not competent to stand trial or acquitted of a criminal charge by reason of insanity also qualifies as this sort of adjudication. Commitment to a mental institution in this context can mean being ordered by a court to involuntary inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment, or to involuntary substance abuse treatment and/or assessment and stabilization.
Notably, someone who voluntarily admits themselves to a mental health facility may also have a firearm disability placed on their record if a qualified physician determines that they would have warranted involuntary detainment had they not submitted to treatment voluntarily. A court also needs to review and approve that physician’s certification, and the subject needs to have been given an opportunity to contest it but failed to do so.
Subsection (3) of FL Stat. § 790.064 explicitly grants Florida residents the right to file a petition with the court for a firearm disability based on their history of mental health problems or substance abuse. There are unique requirements for filing this petition that may differ slightly across different county courts, so guidance from a lawyer is going to be important.
A petition to remove firearm disability in Avalon Park will center around an evidentiary hearing before a judge which can be open or closed. For the judge to rule in favor of the petitioner, that petitioner must establish that they are unlikely to present any danger to public safety in the future and that allowing them to own or purchase firearms would not harm the public interest. They may use various types of evidence like records of mental health treatment and testimony from physicians and community members.
In the event of an unsuccessful outcome, the petitioner must wait at least one year before filing another petition and trying again.
Petitioning to have a restriction on your gun rights removed can be a high-stakes process and a complicated one to get a good result from. Fortunately, you have assistance available from knowledgeable defense attorneys who handle these cases all the time.
Your petition to remove a firearm disability in Avalon Park should go more smoothly with a gun rights lawyer on your side. Call The Umansky Law Firm today to learn more.
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