A Florida woman was reportedly arrested earlier this month after she allegedly broke into her husband’s residence to grab some guns she then turned over to authorities on suspicion of being illegally owned.
According to the New York Times, Courtney Irby claimed to be a victim of domestic violence at the hands of Joseph Irby, who has a related criminal charge pending. A court order connected to that case reportedly instructed him not to “use, possess or carry any firearms, guns, weapons, ammunition or knives.”
While police reports indicate his wife attempted to turn guns she said were in his possession over to Lakeland officers, she was ultimately arrested on suspicion of charges including one count of grand theft of a firearm and — since she was allegedly carrying the weapons when she left the home — one count of armed burglary.
Courtney Irby went on to spend five days behind bars before she was ultimately released on bail. As of the latest reports available, it was unclear whether State Attorney Brian Haas would continue efforts to prosecute the charges.
In any case, her arrest has sparked backlash both locally and across social media as news began to spread.
State Rep. Anna V. Eskamani is among those who argue police could have treated the incident as a “red flag” case, which according to Florida law allows for the seizure of guns from individuals deemed a threat.
“The fact that she spent more days in jail than her partner did shows that property rights and firearms are valued more than a woman and her family,” the Democratic lawmaker said.
Courtney Irby reportedly filed for divorce in January and later accused him of ramming her car in an attempt to force her off the road, leading to his arrest on the outstanding charges, as NPR reported.
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[Featured images: Courtney Irby and Joseph Irby, Polk County Sheriff’s Office]