Police moving to strip Trump ex-adviser Brad Parscale of firearms under Florida Red Flag law

Charles Rabin, David Smiley
·2 min read

Fort Lauderdale police are moving to take away 10 firearms from President Donald Trump’s former reelection campaign manager, one day after he was involuntarily committed to the hospital because his wife told police he had threatened to commit suicide and was acting “irate” with a loaded weapon.

“Our threat response unit detectives are in the process of submitting this petition,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw on Monday.

In order to confiscate Brad Parscale’s weapons, Fort Lauderdale police must petition the court under the state’s Red Flag law, which was adopted in the aftermath of the Valentine’s Day 2018 mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen students and staff were killed that day and another 17 were seriously injured.

The law, which had been adopted by five other states prior to the Parkland high school shooting, allows a judge to decide if a person is too unstable to safely possess firearms. Eleven other states passed similar laws in the wake of the Parkland massacre.

Parscale, 44, was taken into custody Sunday afternoon and involuntarily hospitalized under Florida’s Baker Act law after police were called to his home in Fort Lauderdale’s Seven Isles neighborhood. His wife Candice Parscale told police he cocked a loaded weapon inside the home several times, then walked back into his office. At one point, she said she heard gunfire.

Candice Parscale told police that among her husband’s weapons were a shotgun and a rifle. The Fort Lauderdale police incident report said officers had confiscated 10 weapons from the home. Several calls and texts to both Brad Parscale and his wife were not returned by early Monday evening. It was not clear if he had obtained an attorney.

Police body camera footage released Monday shows an officer talking the six-foot eight-inch Parscale out of his home in the late afternoon. Parscale appears in tan shorts and shirtless, holding a beer which he places on the back of a truck before another officer tackles him to the ground.

Police had not charged Parscale with any crimes by late Monday and it wasn’t clear if they planned to. The arresting officer noted that when he asked Candice Parscale about several large contusions on her arms, she said that her husband hit her in the past. She said Parscale didn’t hit her on Sunday, that he just smacked a cellphone out of her hand.

Parscale led Trump’s reelection campaign until he was fired by the president as campaign manager in mid July. He continued working for the campaign as digital director remotely from Florida.

His demotion came at a tumultuous time for the campaign and amid a series of incidents that allies of the president blamed on Parscale, most notably a public assertion that 1 million people had requested tickets for a Tulsa, Oklahoma, speech that ultimately Trump delivered before a partly empty arena.