Exhibiting their renewed commitment to gun violence prevention and saving innocent lives, Senator Lori Berman (D-Boca Raton) and Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton) re-filed joint legislation, strengthening Florida’s Risk Protection Order (RPO) laws. SB 66 and HB 45 expand the definition of ‘petitioner’ in statute to allow parents, step-parents, legal guardians, spouses, and siblings to petition the court for a risk protection order. Since SB 7026 was passed following the tragedy in Parkland in 2018, over 8,000 RPOs have been filed in Florida.
Senator Berman filed an RPO bill in October 2017, preceding the Parkland shooting, and brought forth measures ranging from limiting firearms in child care facilities to prohibiting domestic abusers from owning a gun and much more in the realm of gun safety.
“Legislators come and go as do legislative sessions. But one constant is that mass shootings and gun violence tragedies only increase. One major tool we have in our toolbox is RPOs, not only to prevent these tragedies but to intervene with suicidal individuals. Expanding the individuals who can file an RPO is a commonsense measure to decrease these horrific actors and their unspeakable actions costing more human life. It’s time we take swift and bold action,” said Senator Berman.
“There are no words left to say, no arguments left to make, no opining left to do, no thoughts and prayers left to offer. It is time to act,” said Representative Skidmore. “This lifesaving tool has already been proven to be highly effective. Expanding its scope of use will empower people to take action when they see the early warning signs of potentially dangerous behavior.”
“RPOs save lives and Moms Demand Action supports expanding who can petition for temporary removal of a person’s guns to include close family members who best recognize at-risk individuals without relying on law enforcement to first become involved. It comes down to this, if a family member sees a warning sign they can respond to it by asking for an RPO to save the life of the individual and others, and the proposed legislation makes this happen,” stated Kelley Diveto, Legislative Lead, Palm Beach County Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.