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by Lee Williams

Last week, a Florida judge forced Lisa Marok to renounce her Second Amendment rights, give up her Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License (CWFL), and remove all firearms and every single round of ammunition from her home, even though she hadn’t been accused of a single crime. 

If she failed to comply with the judge’s unconstitutional order, her husband could have served 19 months in a state prison. If she complied, her husband would be sentenced to probation and walk out of the courtroom a free man.

“You have a choice,” the judge told her. “Your husband or your guns.” 

“Can I have a minute?” she jokingly asked. 

The events that led to Marok’s strange dilemma began years ago when her husband Ralph Marok was working for the Florida Department of Transportation. Ralph Marok, who’s now 60, fell off of a DOT truck and injured his back, according to his son Thomas Marok. 

Ralph Marok became addicted to pain pills and turned to street drugs after Florida and other states made it more difficult to obtain prescription painkillers, his son explained. “This is the face of the opiate crisis,” Thomas Marok said of this father. “This is not the man who raised me.” 

On April 6, 2022, at 1:38 a.m., Ralph Marok’s addiction reached a crisis point. According to a Charlotte Country Sheriff’s Office arrest report, deputies were sent to his home to investigate a “shots fired” call. 

Investigators determined that the home across the street had been struck by gunfire. One round went through a glass picture window, and another struck the exterior wall. In addition, the right taillight was shot out of a blue Mercury Montego that was parked at the home. No one was injured. 

A total of 19 shell casings were found at the scene, including both .40 and .45 calibers. Officers recovered three handguns of the same calibers. 

“Deputy Pero made contact with Ralph Anthony Marok who was highly agitated and in an excited state. Ralph related that he had been fighting several people who were attempting to kill his family. Ralph was cleared by medical personnel and detained as part of the shooting investigation. While being cleared by medical personnel at Fawcett Memorial Hospital, the medical personnel advised Ralph had numerous illegal narcotics in his system, including cocaine,” the arrest report states. 

Several neighbors identified Ralph Marok as the shooter. One told investigators he went “door to door” with a rifle, adding “there was no one chasing Ralph.” 

Ralph Marok (courtesy Charlotte County Sheriff’s office)

Ralph Marok was charged with violating two state statutes: 790.19 – Shooting Throwing Into Vehicle or Dwelling, a felony, and 806.13 1b1 – Criminal Mischief Under $200 Damage, a misdemeanor. 

Charlotte County deputies removed all of the firearms from Marok’s home, not just the three involved in the shooting. Many of the firearms were antiques and/or collectibles, including a Colt 1911 and a matched pair of .357 Magnum revolvers with consecutive serial numbers. 

Five of the firearms belonged to Lisa Marok. Three of them – an SKS, a 1911 and a .357 Magnum revolver – belonged to their son, Thomas. 

Plea agreement 

In 2014, Ralph Marok and his son Gregory were honored by the Charlotte County Fire Department for saving their neighbor’s life by entering a home that was fully engulfed in flames and pulling the homeowner to safety. 

“My wife was in our backyard, and that’s when she saw the lady pounding on the back window and hollering for anybody she could to get over there,” Ralph Marok told The Charlotte Sun in 2014. “I ran to the back of my yard and jumped over a fence and went over there and got her out.”

Over the years, his addiction changed Marok. Prosecutors seemingly took his addiction into account when they drafted his plea agreement. 

They offered a no-jail plea deal in which Marok would be sentenced to 10 years of probation, but the term would be reduced to five years if he successfully completes a treatment program, attends AA meetings regularly and makes restitution to his neighbors. 

Lisa Marok accompanied her husband to the hearing last week to accept the deal, which was a mere formality. Or so she thought. 

“When the judge told Ralph he couldn’t have a single gun in the house, whatsoever, I kind of made a face. I assumed the judge was looking at me, because he called me up to the stand and swore me in – he swore me in,” Lisa Marok said.

“The judge told me I couldn’t ever own a gun again – ever in my life. He said you’ve got a choice – your husband or your guns. In a joking manner, I said, ‘Can I have a minute?’ Of course, I was going to pick my husband. He said we cannot have guns in the house – any guns whatsoever. He said I couldn’t carry one for protection anymore. He took away all of my Second Amendment rights.”

All of the Maroks’ firearms remain in the custody of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. 

“I’m scared to go pick them up,” Lisa Marok said. “I don’t want my husband to go to prison. I think this was wrong. I am a law-abiding citizen.” 

Judge’s explanation 

Circuit Judge Shannon H. McFee heard Marok’s case. Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed him to the bench in 2019 to fill a vacancy. 

Circuit Judge Shannon H. McFee. (Photo courtesy Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit.)

Judge McFee wasn’t willing to be interviewed for this story. However, he submitted a written statement through his spokesperson, Sara Miles, public information officer for Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit. 

Asked why he told Marok’s wife she had one choice — her husband or her guns — this is the response . . .

Mr.  Ralph Marok accepted a plea to the charge of Shooting at or within a Dwelling, 2nd Degree Felony in the State of Florida; additionally, this plea calls for Mr. Marok to be registered as a convicted felon. The Assistant State Attorney clearly announced the plea deal to Mr. Marok that included, ‘no longer being allowed to lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition, or a concealed weapon or the ability to vote, etc.’  These implications were discussed with Mr. Marok and he voluntarily agreed to these terms with his plea, which is a downward departure based upon the plea bargain agreement between counsel. Mr. Marok scores out to 19.5 months prison. Instead, Mr. Marok received at least 5 years State Probation. The court became aware that Mrs. Marok has a concealed weapons permit and may have weapons stored in the home, which would subject Mr. Marok to a Violation of Probation and potentially going to prison. Judge McFee was taking the necessary time to ensure that Ms. Marok understood the terms of the attorney’s negotiated plea and, if she was in objection, then the court would not accept this plea. Mrs. Marok was in agreement with the plea deal and pledged not to have any weapons in the home being shared with Mr. Marok, a convicted felon.


Jacksonville, Florida-based attorney Eric Friday, who specializes in firearms law and Second Amendment rights, said the judge’s order went too far. “Mr. Marok’s family has the right to continue to own guns as long as he is not in possession,” Friday said. 

Thomas Marok, 36, agrees. He recently bought his mother a gun safe, which has only one key, but the safe remains empty. 

“She is still afraid to go get them. She doesn’t want my dad to go to prison. I’m worried if she waits too long, they might get lost or damaged,” he said. “I just want to be there for my dad as much as I can. He’s embarrassed. I’m just upset about how he and my mom were treated.” 

Thomas Marok served as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy. He currently works as an anesthesia technician in the Milwaukee area, and is studying to become a physician’s assistant. 

“I think the judge was anti-gun,” he said. “My mom told me during sentencing that if it were up to him, my dad would have jail time and all the guns would be locked up.” 


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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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    • In every joke there is some truth. So Debbie, how much of your comment is a joke or the truth IDK.

      However, like AR Libertarian points out, there is a very cold vein in women towards men that goes unspoken in polite society, as that would poke a sacred cow.

      • I would never have taken a plea knowing it would disarm my wife.

        The whole constructive possession thing is well worn territory. If she gets a good lawyer she will get her rights restored. She shouldn’t have to. But she does.

        Maybe one of the pro gun organizations can help.

        • Here in CA, you may be in possession of your gun while living with a prohibited person *as long as* that gun is never accessible to that person. It may be stored in a safe, rendered inoperable (e.g., cable lock or such), or on your person and under your immediate control. There is no requirement to vacate the house of guns.

          Kinda weird that a FL judge would be even tighter than the State of Gun-Hating Kalifornia on something like this.

        • Before last year you could carry in bars while drinking (but not intoxicated) in NY. Just oddball timing when laws get written and what was important enough to make it in I guess.

      • Why are you so afraid of identifying yourself when you comment in TTAG, it kills any credibility you have with your perpetually made-up names?

        What are you so scared of, little boy? 😉

    • For real. He went nuts and shot up his neighbors homes and cars. He belongs in prison, not on probation. Keep the guns and lose the lunatic husband, before you pay the toll with your life.

  1. Golly this is a tough one🤓 Oh wait it AIN’T. Your husband turned into a drug addict. You didn’t. Separate. Keep your gats. While I disagree with the judge I “get it”. Discuss amongst yourselves. I don’t care.

  2. Ok…so get this man some help with his addiction! I don’t see any real answers to the actual problem being given in any of this craziness.

    If he were in prison, could he then get help?

    The focus seems to be purely on their guns and that really isn’t even a thing in this situation. The problem is his addiction.

    • No matter how much ‘Help’ is available or offered. Until the addict is ready to get clean. It will never happen. You can’t force a drug addict to get clean, in or out of jail. Considering in most prison systems, drugs are as easy to get, as on the street.

      • Would like to say it is better with hospitals/lockdown treatment centers but at least here in NY drugs are just as available as in prisons and for the same reasons. Detox is usually completed (close supervision) but past that there are always ways. As much as people bitch about the process AA/NA do tend to work the best even when drugs that induce nausia when opium or alcohol are taken.

      • There are addicts that crave the high and there are addicts that use to help lower the pain. Many of the second do “crave the high”, but some actually learn to hate it, but still use because the pain is too much to live with. These people would have offed themselves had it not been for pain medicine.

        Hopefully you never have to live with diabilitating pain, but show some understanding. Doctors try to heal us, but chronic pain can not always be healed.

    • Get help in prison? Get real. Any psych help he would get would be perfunctory and minimal help if any. Only a FL lawyer who specializes in firearms law would be able to tell if judge-poo has exceeded his authority under FL law. I suspect he may have but that is all it is, just a suspicion.

  3. Yea i dont think this fella needs to be around guns. I know that part. Maybe she can have a carry piece. I dunno. But to take somebody’s total right to self defense away? Kind of a tough one. Maybe stored off site. But then that doesn’t help you much on self defense.

    • “Yea i dont think this fella needs to be around guns.”

      Me too. Oh wait, you did mean the judge, right? Never mind.

      More seriously, if you rigged this guy with a morphine pump, and made sure he got 8 hours sleep every day, he would likely go back to being a model citizen.

      Obviously, his family loves him…

    • Isn’t there something in the vein of felons should have their rights restored after serving their sentence in play for the courts?

      • Except, he’s yet to serve his sentence. Thats the rub. Keep her guns and if he continues to live in the home. He does 19 months. She forfeits her 2nd Amendment Rights, He goes free on probation and can continue to live in the home. Shitty situation, but choices were made and the debt for those choices must be paid. Best case scenario is he does the 19 months and chooses to get clean will in jail. Had a friend do that back in the 80s. He got strung out on all types of drugs and saw his life going to hell. H He knew he couldn’t kick the shit in the world so h e stole a car and led LE on a 3 hour chase, once he wrecked the car out and was arrested he told the cops why he stole the car and plead guilty. Did 3 years in North Carolina prison. Got clean, got his life straight, became a minister, got married to a great lady and is raising a family. Life is about choices and taking advantage of the resources available. Most importantly is you have to choose and choose wisely.

        • Ah gothca, thanks I did miss the whole completion of sentence factor so sentence restrictions would be a totally separate issue that can be applied.

        • So if a probationer is –

          in a police car or a police station or a restaurant or a sporting goods store or a random house with securely stored guns or in a taxi with an armed driver

          are they “felon in possession”?


          Further – old white guy, S FL prison, good outcome? That seems real iffy…

        • @XZX. Your lack of intelligence is only superseded by your Ignorance.
          Stupid people lack intelligence, but can be taught. Ignorant people can’t be taught, because they can’t accept that they don’t already know everything.

        • @XZX I actually read about a case where a prohibited person ran from police and ended stealing an officers cruiser. The cruiser just happened to have a patrol rifle locked and secured in mount between the seats. Not only was he charged and convicted of felon in possession of a firearm, theft of the firearm, firearm possession in a school zone, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a felony and a litany of other charges. The funny the criminal had no idea it was even there. He only made it 50 feet down the road before getting pitted out.

      • When G. Gordon Liddy was convicted in the Watergate affair, as a convicted felon, he transferred ownership of all his guns, including machine guns, to his wife. The Liddy’s and the guns all lived together happily ever after.

  4. This judge needs to be removed from the bench. Removing firearms from the access of a man with a suspended sentence is one thing but demanding the woman give up her concealed carry permit is unforgiveable. The man lost his freedom, the woman did not.

    I am really disappointed the discussion here is about the man’s drug problem and not the law and the woman’s God given and constitutionally protected right to self defense.

    • After the war on drugs and all the associated messaging we have had since is it a surprise there are keywords that tend to shut down some portions of discussion?

    • “This judge needs to be removed from the bench.”

      l might be so bold as to conclude that his knowledge of the law is a trifle situational.

    • The drug problem is what started this whole thing. It wasn’t dealt with and escalated. Even with all the discussion of losing rights, prison, and agenda driven judges…no one seems all that interested in handling the real problem. The 2A rights being taken from the wife this way is certainly a tragedy and that in itself is a lawsuit. But we are talking about a process that could easily take years. Meanwhile a mans soul is being taken away with something that will take his life (with or without guns).

      Put him in prison. There might just be the best place for him. Not simply as a criminal but as a place to heal. Judges do have the authority to assign him time in a hospital/ward type environment.

      The next option is divorce just so she can keep her rights. Either one is an injustice but atleast this way less can ultimately be lost. Once he is removed from the home then any possible firearms there become a moot point. But that does not mean he can’t then be placed somewhere that can help him.

      • The idea that hubby can’t be in a house or car that has a gun in it w/out being VOP is a bit of a stretch. IMO, the judge is taking the opportunity to bully some of them there gun people.

        • I agree with you here too.

          What will happen to her or this judge when this man dies from his addiction? Ten years later she will still be forbidden from owning guns. This judge will continue destroying lives. This drug will also continue to destroy more lives.

          Entire pharmacy chains have been shut down and have had to pay billions for this opioid problem. How much human life is this going to allowed to take before it’s put down?

        • @ Prndll. That would take the same people as is needed to stop the war on 2nd Amendment Rights. ‘We the People’. Because the government needs people strung out on drugs and dying. More victims to champion (sic) for. Beside a drugged populace is easier to control, than an aware one. Just like crime is needed by the government. In order to have more victims it can champion (sic) for and use as an excuse for dismantling the 2nd A. Expecting or Relying that the government will do the Right thing. Is what has got us in this BS situation and only the People can change that, because the system is self replicating, Like the Borg…You will be Assimilated

        • Lol, folks who have never known screaming, puking, blood pressure 50/90 pain or chronic intractable pain for decades should NOT be making drug policy.

  5. Judges in my town run from competent all the way to obviously “purchasable”. Blond hair, big chest, expensive perfume being the coin of that realm. Oh yeah, don’t neglect that electric feeling one gets from exercising a massive stroke of raw power!
    You are all correct that this is about addiction.
    But you missed the most important addict.

  6. Something similar happened in New Jersey a while ago, with the genders reversed.
    It was quite a few years ago, so I’ve forgotten some of the details, but this is what I remember. The wife was accused of some crime — I think it was domestic violence — and therefore lost her gun rights (in New Jersey, they can take your guns before you’ve been convicted). But the husband was a law-abiding citizen who had done nothing wrong, and he was a gun collector who owned 1,000 guns, worth perhaps one million dollars total.

    The police said the husband would have to give up his entire gun collection of 1,000 guns. He refused to give out the combination to the safes, probably thinking (and rightly so) that it would be an unconstitutional seizure of property from a law-abiding citizen who did nothing wrong. But this being New Jersey, the police cut the safes open, took all 1,000 of the guns, roughly threw them into steel barrels, and hauled them away.
    Remember, the husband had done nothing wrong, hadn’t broken any laws, but the police confiscated his entire collection worth perhaps one million dollars.
    If I were him, and they said, “Your wife or your gun collection worth a million dollars,” and my wife had been abusing me or my kids as this man’s wife apparently had (she was accused of domestic violence), I’d say, “Take my wife, please!”

  7. The true problem is that Big Pharm makes so much profit on dopioids that none want to pursue another just as effective pain med. I have taken that crap for long periods of time and, although very effective, they are scary addictive and for me, somewhat hard to quit. Even after say, a year, the craving never ends. $$$ wins every time.

    • she surrendered them, due to a coercion and threat by ‘government’ (the judge). They were in effect taken. Anytime a ‘government’, without warrant or cause against you, coerces or threatens you into ‘surrendering’ something, including your rights, its an unlawful taking.

  8. A judge who doesn’t know the law. The wife is not a prohibited person. Therefore, she can have as many guns as she wants. It’s her husband who is prohibited and can never again have access to guns or ammunition. The legal burden is to keep the wife’s guns and ammunition out of reach of the husband. Failure to do so, even if the husband never takes advantage of it, is called constructive possession and would send him to prison. The law allows them to accept this burden whether or not the judge likes it.

  9. I betcha most all judges know the law, being successful enough lawyers to be admitted into the “club” due to appointment by sitting judges. Most do get elected, however.
    The problem comes when they become so savvy at the “inner workings” and “back door politicking” methods that they resort to their Good Old Boy connections to get things done. Or to stop them from happening.
    Look to see WHICH lawyer is appointed as this year’s Grand Jury Foreperson.
    He or She is tasked with making SURE that embarrassing scandals of the well-connected never see the light of day…
    The whole legal system has a “system” in place inside it.
    Prove me wrong.
    (Pro tip: Start with Alec The Girl Shooter)

  10. Zay are killing zee girl tonight. You can save her.
    Just sign zee papers old man.
    Surrender your FFL or we will shoot the boy.
    How weird, when Bill Maher ask G Gordon Liddy how many gunms he had Gordon said ” None, but my wife has an extensive collection.” That was a few years back, times are changing, and those in power seem to becoming more dictatorial.
    When our Rights are protected by lawyers We have lost.

  11. I think this was not a bad deal. There is no way the lady could guarantee her husband’s lack of access to guns in their house, even with a gun safe that she might be forced to open or with a key that he might take. It was proven that he sometimes acted in a very dangerous manner. And no, I do not think divorce is a good idea if not absolutely necessary.

    However the guns should not be kept by the police. I think their son is competent to take them, and lives in a different house. If circumstances change later, he can return them to his mother with approval of the court.

    • “no way the lady could guarantee her husband’s lack of access to guns in their house,”

      Or anywhere else! Including the local N Guard Armory. So, WTF? And what is the point of invalidating her carry permit?

  12. @XZX I actually read about a case where a prohibited person ran from police and ended stealing an officers cruiser. The cruiser just happened to have a patrol rifle locked and secured in mount between the seats. Not only was he charged and convicted of felon in possession of a firearm, theft of the firearm, firearm possession in a school zone, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a felony and a litany of other charges. The funny the criminal had no idea it was even there. He only made it 50 feet down the road before getting pitted out.

  13. So felon in the house no guns for anybody. What if it was a duplex? Maybe a apt. building, or how about the neighborhood/town? This P.O.S. judge overstepped and needs to be delt wit.


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