Florida’s new laws took effect July 1st, and two of Florida’s new criminal laws are very important for potential new accused parties. HB 49, The “bong ban” prohibits the sale of metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic smoking pipes, chillums or bongs, and HB 1355 which blocks gun sales to some people who voluntarily admit themselves for mental-health treatment.
Both laws have inherent problems because both laws assume that probable wrongdoing will occur by the conduct being prohibited. The government uses this assumption as the sole grounds for the justifying the law. However, neither law considers other alternatives to enforcement of the already existing marijuana laws and gun laws already in place.
Many have fought for gun regulation for years because of terrible gun involved crimes such as Sandy Hook and movie theaters. HB 1355 is such a response to these crimes. For nearly 40 years, federal law has barred certain individuals with a history of mental health treatment from purchasing, receiving, or possessing firearms. State laws are a patchwork of regulations, some much more inclusive than the federal statute, others that parallel it closely. In some states, such laws are nonexistent. For the past 20 years, it has been possible to petition for relief from the federal prohibition; however, this will no longer be the case in Florida
If one talks to any number of clinicians, they will be able to recall a patient who should not possess firearms but has never been treated involuntarily. However, any number of clinicians will also state that there are those that were committed voluntarily who have completely recovered from whatever was ailing them and are fine to possess a firearm. While it is presumably less difficult for the purpose of background checks to identify patients who have been committed, it would also be possible for states to mandate reporting of psychiatric patients who should be barred from possessing firearms, as is done for driving privileges in cases of epilepsy, narcolepsy, dementia, and so on.
In regards to HB49, The “bong ban”, prohibiting the sale of metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic smoking pipes, chillums or bongs, has been enacted as an additional drug paraphernalia charge. “Possession of drug paraphernalia” in Florida, is the charge of possessing any equipment, product, or material that is modified for making, using, or concealing drugs, typically for recreational purposes. Head shops, the stores that will be hit the hardest by this new law, as well as the paying customers, will be subject to a possible charge under this law. However, this law did not take into account the laws and policies already in practice. Generally, head shops have signs near presumable paraphernalia saying “For tobacco use only” or “Not for use with illicit drugs.” Many also ban customers for referencing use of illegal drugs or illegal purposes when buying items. Similar policies are used in online head shops, where customers are often made to verify detailed disclaimers of their non-use of illegal substances before buying items. Even though the policies were fine before, the law is now more restrictive.
One in a situation such as this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney when fighting Florida’s drug and gun crime laws. Unfortunately, the police mishandle the evidence, making the evidence worthy of being excluded, making a drug paraphernalia and gun charges hard to prove if there is no pipe or gun as admissible evidence. If one is under investigation or has been arrested on drug charges, one will need to obtain an experienced Jacksonville drug and gun crimes defense attorney to fight the case.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: Here Are New Florida Laws Taking Effect July 1, WLRN.com