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Florida Cops Arrest Woman For Turning In Abusive Husband's Guns

Sure, he'd rammed his car into hers repeatedly, but a man's gotta have his guns, right?
Florida Cops Arrest Woman For Turning In Abusive Husband's Guns
Image from: Polk County Sheriff's Office

Make this make sense.

Courtney Taylor Irby is in jail on charges of armed burglary for stealing her husband's guns. Where was her husband? In jail, because after a divorce hearing, he'd tried to run her over with his car. She feared for her life, and the lives of her children given his violence and abuse towards her. While he was in jail, a judge granted her a temporary restraining order against Joseph, and "[a]s part of the pre-trial release conditions, Joseph Irby was ordered not to use, possess or carry any weapons or ammunition." So, knowing he owned these guns, while he was in jail, she took his guns and immediately brought them to the police for safekeeping, so that he wouldn't have access to them once he got out of jail.

According to The Ledger,

When she told a Lakeland police officer she had the guns with her to turn them in, he replied, “So are you telling me that you committed an armed burglary?” and Irby answered, “Yes, I am, but he wasn’t going to turn them in, so I am doing it,” according to reports.

Police verified Irby had never stayed at her husband’s apartment until the day of the burglary.

Officers made contact with Joseph Irby, who was still incarcerated at the Polk County Jail, and he said he wanted to press charges against his wife for entering his apartment and taking the guns, reports say.

You're telling me these cops went straight to the abusive husband, who they were holding in jail because he rammed his car repeatedly into hers to alert him to the fact that she'd taken his guns? And asked him what he wanted done about it? ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME WITH THIS SH*T??? Way to escalate a violent situation, police officers, and way to increase the chances that an assault charge will evolve into a murder charge. If the Lakeland police aren't aware, allow me to be the first to inform them that a woman is in greater danger after she leaves an abusive partner. That's when the violence escalates. Or, perhaps they ARE aware, but they are more concerned with that well-regulated militia thing.


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Either way, it shows what the priorities are. A man's right to possess a gun is waaaaay more important than a woman's right to safety. She cannot even turn in a gun to the police without being arrested. And even the police admit these rules about turning in guns are practically unenforceable, which also speaks to the sh*tty priorities and sickness coursing through the national bloodstream.

When a person is ordered to give up their guns as part of an injunction or pre-trail release agreement, there is no automatic enforcement method to take those guns away, Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Brian Bruchey said.
[...]
If a person, upon receiving an injunction or a pre-trial release agreement, say they have no firearms to hand over, “that’s pretty much it,” Bruchey said. “We can’t do anything, unless they willfully do it — release them to us.”

Well, Courtney Irby knew. And she didn't want to die. So she entered his apartment while he was in jail, retrieved his guns, and brought them directly to the police for safekeeping. Courtney Irby's lawyer is arguing the following:

[W]hile she had taken a rifle and a handgun from his home, it did not constitute theft, as Joseph Irby would be able to retrieve the weapons from LPD “assuming he was not lawfully barred from possessing weapons upon his release.” Additionally, Courtney Irby, by turning over the guns to the police, had no intention to “appropriate the property to her own use or the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property,” as described in state law, he said.

So, guess who is also sitting in jail, awaiting trial? Courtney Taylor Irby. Guess who is out of jail? Joseph Irby. And likely he's getting more pissed off by the hour.

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