New JSO unit tasked with seizing guns from those deemed threat

A new unit with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is dedicated to implementing a Florida law that allows law enforcement officers to seize guns from people who are deemed to be a risk to themselves or others.

The law was passed in the aftermath of a massacre at a South Florida high school in February in which authorities said a 19-year-old with documented mental health issues killed 17 students and staff with a legally purchased AR-15.

The new Risk Protection Order is intended to prevent such mass shootings -- and other violent incidents -- by allowing citizens to report potential risks to law enforcement officers, who can follow a process to take firearms away from those deemed a risk.

"We need our community members to step up and let us know when they have concerns about individuals who are displaying problematic behavior or making threats to hurt themselves or others,” Lt. Erica Weber said.

But some are concerned that leaving such decisions up to law enforcement and judges, instead of medical professionals, is risky.