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Florida woman charged after giving husband’s guns to police

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman’s effort to protect herself from domestic violence has become a flashpoint in the debate over gun rights and victims’ safety.

Courtney Irby gave her estranged husband’s guns to police after he was charged with domestic violence-aggravated battery, only to find herself arrested for theft.

Now a Florida lawmaker and gun safety advocates are championing her cause, asking a state attorney on Monday drop the charges, while gun rights advocates want her prosecuted.

Courtney Irby spent six days in jail on charges of armed burglary and grand theft after she retrieved the assault rifle and handgun from her husband’s apartment and gave them to the Lakeland Police. Joseph Irby was spending one day in jail at the time, accused of ramming into her car after a June 14 divorce hearing.

After her husband’s arrest, Courtney Irby petitioned for a temporary injunction for protection, which was granted. Federal law prohibits people under a domestic violence restraining order from possessing guns, but it’s up to local law enforcement to enforce it, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Courtney Irby told police that she believed he wouldn’t turn in his guns himself, so she took action. According to her arrest report, she said she entered her husband’s apartment through a locked door without his permission and took the guns to a police station.

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