Fla. woman’s husband arrested for domestic violence, she’s arrested next day for turning his guns in to cops

Most people probably don’t expect to be arrested a day after their significant other is arrested for domestic violence, but that’s exactly what happened to Courtney Irby.

The 32-year-old Florida woman was arrested after she turned in her husband’s various firearms to police. Irby was charged with armed burglary of a dwelling and grand theft of a firearm after she brought the various firearms to the Lakeland Police Department.

(Screenshot from Fox 13 News – Tampa Bay)

The guns belonged to Irby’s estranged husband, Joseph, who had been arrested the previous day for domestic violence.

Police say Mrs. Irby admitted to breaking into her estranged husband’s apartment and collecting his guns.

“I did not even know where the guns were located. I had to search around the apartment for them, so I could bring them to you,” she reportedly told police.

The officer speaking to Mrs. Irby responded, “So, are you telling me you committed an armed burglary?”

Mrs. Irby replied by saying yes, but adding that she was concerned for her safety and she believed that her husband would never turn the firearms in.

Mr. Irby was informed of his wife’s actions by phone while he was at the Polk County Jail due to the domestic violence incident. He informed police that he wanted to press charges against his wife.

The arrest affidavit reveals that Courtney and Joseph Irby finished a divorce hearing on June 14 and that’s when they got into a bit of a tussle. Mr. Irby allegedly rear-ended his wife’s car in an attempt to run her off of the road. His wife was on the phone with police while her husband rear-ended her.

Though Mrs. Irby very clearly committed a crime by breaking into her husband’s apartment and stealing his guns, some have stepped forward to say she should not be prosecuted with a crime since her actions were motivated by fear.

“Ms. Irby should NOT be prosecuted for protecting herself and her family. @LakelandPD never should have arrested her, and we as a state must do better in preventing DV and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers,” Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-FL) wrote on Twitter about the situation.

The congresswoman said she wants to introduce legislation to prevent people charged with domestic violence from obtaining firearms. She also said she will be working with Mrs. Irby’s lawyers to help the woman’s situation.

“I am absolutely outraged by all of this — we have emailed her attorney to see how we can help and will send a letter first thing on Monday to the SA [State’s Attorney] asking that she not be prosecuted,” she tweeted.

The congresswoman also released a public statement about Mrs. Irby’s arrest, suggesting this will be a central issue for the politician going forward.

“The case of Courtney Taylor Irby demonstrates once more the dangerous linkage between intimate partner violence and access to firearms,” she wrote. “Court records show that Irby applied for a temporary injunction against her husband and the two were in the process of a divorce. 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. We should be outraged by her arrest, and Irby should not be prosecuted by the local State Attorney’s office.”


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