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Get the latest coverage of the 2024 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee.

Floridians who’ve been arrested can now get their firearms back sooner

The law takes effect on July 1.

Floridians who’ve been arrested, but released without being charged, can now get their firearms back sooner. The change comes from new legislation that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Friday.

State Senator Jay Collins, R-Tampa, proposed the measure (SB1286).

“Florida’s law is actually silent on how to return a weapon or firearm that is held as personal or safekeeping property," said Collins during a Senate Committee on Criminal Justice. "We missed that and we have to go fix this.”

Sen. Collins said SB 1286 prevents law enforcement from holding on to a person’s private property for too long.

Under the new provision, law officials have 30 days to return a person’s "weapons, electric weapons or devices, or arms" once they are released from a detention center. An officer can return the property upon request but only to individuals with valid ID and can pass a criminal background check.

Officials cannot hand over property that is actively being used as evidence in a case.

"There is a gap here and this does happen where specific rules are not in place," said Collins. "There are times where property hasn't been returned."

The law goes into effect July 1st.

Adrian Andrews is a multimedia journalist with WFSU Public Media. He is a Gadsden County native and a first-generation college graduate from Florida A&M University. Adrian is also a military veteran, ending his career as a Florida Army National Guard Non-Comissioned Officer.

Adrian has experience in print writing, digital content creation, documentary, and film production. He has spent the last four years on the staff of several award-winning publications such as The Famuan, Gadsden County News Corp, and Cumulus Media before joining the WFSU news team.