A Florida woman ended up in jail this month after attempting to turn in her estranged husband’s guns to police, according to the Lakeland Ledger.
Courtney Irby, 32, brought the firearms to Lakeland County Police after her husband, Joseph Irby, was arrested on June 14 on charges of domestic aggravated battery for allegedly ramming her car with his. The couple was in the process of getting divorced.
According to the police report, Irby had called the female arresting officer “a man hater.”
“He wasn’t going to turn them in,” Courtney Irby told police of the guns, “so I am doing it.”
Irby also said that she had taken out restraining orders on her husband in the past and feared for her life.
But when police contacted Joseph Irby, who was still in the Polk County Jail, he insisted they press charges for the theft of his guns. His wife was charged with armed burglary of a dwelling and two counts of grand theft of a firearm.
“We have to safeguard every citizen’s rights,” Police Chief Ruben Garcia told the Ledger.
On June 15, Courtney Irby was jailed without bail for five days and six nights before a judge set her bail at $5,000 on Friday, when she was released.
Meanwhile, Joseph Irby was released the day after his arrest on $10,000 bail.
Women Jailed in Gun Friendly Florida
Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani has asked authorities to drop the charges against Courtney Irby.
“She was actively protecting herself and her family from an estranged husband who had not turned over his firearms to law enforcement, and was arrested for it,” Eskamani wrote Friday in a blog post on Medium. “We should be outraged by her arrest, and Irby should not be prosecuted by the local State Attorney’s office.”
In May, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation that made Florida one of the first states to allow teachers to carry firearms in schools. The law was a response to the 2018 shooting at Parkland’s Stoneman Douglas High School.