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Fort Myers Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Florida Considers New Gun Laws Targeting Juveniles

Florida Considers New Gun Laws Targeting Juveniles


At the beginning of 2024, Florida announced a number of new laws that aim to crack down on crime. Like many other states, a key focus for the Sunshine State is gun crime – particularly firearm offenses committed by juveniles. One of the most notable new laws being introduced targets juveniles and aims to tackle an alleged gun problem sweeping through cities like Fort Myers and Naples. But what can you do if your child has been accused of gun crimes – and how might these new laws affect your situation?

How New Florida Laws Might Affect Juvenile Gun Crime 

At the beginning of the new year, two lawmakers in Florida filed identical bills that would target juveniles who commit firearm offenses. The goal here is to hold juveniles to a greater degree of accountability for alleged gun crimes. If these bills pass, juveniles accused of gun crimes in Florida would be forced to accept the terms of “court-ordered sanctions.” Speaking about the bill, one lawmaker announced:

“Juveniles who commit crimes involving a firearm are a serious risk to public safety. Strengthening accountability on juvenile firearm offenses is a priority of DJJ and this bill is an important way to build a stronger, safer Florida.”

 So what does that actually mean for Florida residents? Essentially, juveniles would be held to a higher standard after committing certain crimes – allowing courts to severely restrict their ability to carry out further acts of violence and harm against others. The idea is that with more draconian sanctions placed on children likely to commit gun crimes in the future, certain acts of violence might be prevented.

The bill would remove a number of exceptions to existing laws regarding juvenile gun crimes. Perhaps the most notable of these involves possessing or discharging a firearm on school property or at school-sponsored events. Existing exceptions allow the minor to be released relatively quickly for these offenses under certain circumstances. Under the proposed law, minors would face incarceration without the same pathways to quick release.

In addition, possessing a firearm as a minor would become a felony of the third degree, with a mandatory incarceration period of five days even for a first offense. Previously, the law stated that the child “may” spend five days behind bars after possessing a firearm. There are many other proposed amendments to the existing laws, but the general theme is the removal of provisions and exceptions. Under the new laws, children would almost certainly be incarcerated after committing certain firearm offenses – and the court would not even have the option to release them early if they seem to pose no threat to the public.

Find a Qualified Gun Crime Defense Lawyer in Fort Myers 

If you’ve been searching for a gun violation defense lawyer in Fort Myers, look no further than Foley & Wilson. With our help, you can fight for your child’s best interests as they face a wide range of gun charges. While Florida is introducing new laws that specifically target juveniles, there are also many other federal laws to consider. We have experience with both federal and state law – ensuring an effective defense for juveniles facing charges. Book your consultation today to determine the most appropriate strategy.




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