A Florida woman tried to protect herself from domestic violence and was shocked when she was arrested for theft.
It all started on June 14, 2019 when Joseph Irvy, Courtney Irby’s estranged husband, rammed his car into her car after a divorce hearing. He was arrested and was spent a night in jail after being charged with domestic violence-aggravated battery.
While he was in jail, Courtney Irby went into his locked home, entered, seized his guns, and immediately handed them over the the police.
Courtney Irby had filed a domestic restraining order and asked the courts for a temporary injunction for protection. Her request was granted, and by law Joseph Irby wasn’t allowed to keep his guns.
The law states that it is up to authorities to gather any guns held by those under a domestic restraining order. However, Courtney Irby took matters into her own hands and is now paying for her decision.
When she delivered the guns to the local police station the officer replied, “you’re telling me you committed an armed burglary.”
She tried to explain that she was certain Joseph Irby wouldn’t hand his guns over of his own free will.
“Yes, I am but he wasn’t going to turn them in so I’m doing it,” the offer said she responded. He then arrested her for armed burglary and grand theft of a fire arm.
In response to her arrest, a Florida lawmaker and gun safety advocates are trying to help her cause. They are asking a state attorney to drop the charges, while gun rights advocates want her to be prosecuted.
Democratic State Rep. Anna Eskamani of Orlando shared the following tweet in response of Irby’s arrest:
Ms. Irby should not be prosecuted for protecting herself and her family, @LakelandPD should not have arrested her for seeking help, & in Florida we need to do a LOT better in keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. TY @FOX13News for lifting this up. #ProtectSurvivors pic.twitter.com/6RYxNDsJ8b— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) June 22, 2019
Eskamani then sent a letter to State Attorney Brian Haas asking that Irby not be charged with a crime. As support for her appeal, she cited research showing the presence of a gun where domestic violence is occurring makes it five times more likely a woman will be murdered.
Furthermore, Eskamani wrote that, “Prosecuting Ms. Irby sets a scary precedent that if someone seeks help to escape abuse, they will be punished for it.”
She also called attention to the fact that most times the police don’t have the resources to make sure that guns are taken away from those under restraining orders for domestic abuse.
“These loopholes are major contributors to the deadly relationship between domestic violence and firearms,” Eskamani said.
Joseph Irby’s charges came after he used his vehicle to strike Courtney Irby’s back bumper several times. He eventually ran her off the road.
Courtney Irby told the responding officer that “she feared for her life.” As Joseph Irby was being put into the police car, he called her “a man hater,” his arrest report said.
When being released on bond, Courtney Irby’s attorney made the point that she wasn’t taking the gun for personal use. She was simply trying to protect herself from a man who had shown a terrifying amount of aggression.
Gun rights advocates have been trolling Rep. Eskamani’s Twitter account and applauding the prosecution for arresting and charging Courtney Irby.
Fred Guttenberg, a father whose daughter was killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting has been standing up for Courtney Irby. She’s “an abused woman trying to protect herself from an abusive husband,” tweeted Guttenberg.
More on this story as details emerge.