Lee County implements red flag law for the first time

Published: Updated:
Rickey Beaty, 59, of Bokeelia (Photo via Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

For the first time ever, Lee County uses the new red flag law to take away someone’s guns.

The red flag law is a new law that allows guns to be taken from people considered at risk of harming themselves or others. The law was implemented after the Parkland school shooting.

The first person Lee County used the new red flag law on is Rickey Beaty, he is accused of stabbing a deputy in March.

MORE: Lee County man accused of stabbing a deputy receives $5K bail

“They’re trying to, with the new law that was passed by Gov. Rick Scott, prohibit Mr. Beaty from having or owning any firearms,” said Fort Myers Attorney Lawyer Daniel Garza.

Documents reveal Beaty was off his medication when the sheriff’s office says he stabbed Deputy Wilfred Rivera with a 12-inch knife.

“It seems like LCSO has good faith bases to believe he’s a danger to himself, and they went ahead with it,” Garza said.

Beaty says the sheriff’s office already has his weapons‚ÄĒtwo firearms, ammunition and the knife he used to stab the deputy.

Beaty claims that this will only last a year.

The petition by Lee County Sheriff’s Office cites Beaty’s mental health history‚ÄĒand that he was shocked in 2000 while working as a lineman.

MORE: LCSO deputy shoots suspect who attacked, stabbed him at Bokeelia home

“Things that need to be taken in account, when someone has a history of mental health issues, if they’ve made allegations that they’re a danger to themselves, that’s when law enforcement will get involved. Not only for that person, but for the community,” Garza said.

Garza says because of this new red flag law, people will start to see law enforcement take this aggressive action.

“The law is relatively new, it’s probably going to take working out the kinks to see what fly’s and what doesn’t before we start to see this be more routine,” Garza said.


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