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Florida has used ‘red flag’ law 3,500 times since Parkland

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Two years after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. – allegedly by a mentally disturbed man – West Palm Beach correspondent Terry Spencer marked the anniversary with smart accountability journalism about a key Florida “red flag” bill passed in the massacre’s wake.

Working over several months to get county-by-county breakdowns that no other outlet had, Spencer found that the law had been used to get weapons away from people deemed dangerous no less than 3,500 times since the Parkland shooting. Even so, his analysis showed the law is applied inconsistently, with some counties and cities using it rarely and others not at all.

The story was a strong look at how red flag laws – passed in nearly a dozen states since Parkland – are playing out on the ground, and it drew widespread attention and engagement. AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee called the story “great accountability reporting. And just super, super interesting. I can’t think of a person in the world who would not read this story.” https://bit.ly/2P7Zws2

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