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City of South Miami`s Trigger Lock Mandate Put to Rest

Friday, May 31, 2002

On Wednesday, 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wilson put the final nail in the coffin of the City of South Miami’s (Fla.) attempt to usurp legislative authority from state lawmakers when he declared the city’s "Gun Lock Ordinance" null and void. The ordinance sought to require that every firearm, without exception, be stored with a trigger lock. No exception existed for firearms stored in a safe, antiques, or, most importantly, firearms kept accessible for self defense.

NRA, Unified Sportsmen of Florida, and individual plaintiffs immediately brought suit against the ordinance. NRA Past President Marion P. Hammer, commenting on the ruling, stated, "The City knew they were violating state law and essentially dared us to sue them. It was a shameless act of political arrogance. The Courts have proven us right once again."

Judge Wilson’s ruling—which he was instructed to hand down by the 3rd District Court of Appeals last March—held that the ordinance violated Florida’s statewide preemption law that forbids municipalities from imposing restrictions on firearms that are contrary to state law. Wilson also stated the City has until June 4, 2002, to repeal its ordinance, and if it does not, he will issue a permanent injunction against the City.

Shortly after the ruling by Wilson, Palm Beach County (Fla.) commissioners voted 4 - 3 to repeal a similar ordinance.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.