Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

** REPORT on Rounds 1 & 2 ** Stopping Firearms Preemption Violations by Local Government Officials across Florida

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DATE:        February 18, 2011
TO:            USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM:       Marion P. Hammer
                 USF Executive Director
                 NRA Past President

REPORT ON  ROUND 1 **  STOP Local Governments across Florida From Violating State Law

Senate Bill 402, introduced by state Senator Joe Negron (R-28), was heard today, February 8 in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.  SB 402 PASSED by a vote of 3 to 2.

SB 402 would provide penalties for government officials, local governments and agencies that willfully and knowingly violate the state firearms preemption law. There are no penalties currently in the law.

Voting to uphold Florida law, the Constitution and to protect your firearms rights were the following:

Senator Greg Evers (R-2)  evers.greg.web@flsenate.gov;

Senator Charlie Dean (R-3)  dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov;

Senator Paula Dockery (R-15) dockery.paula.web@flsenate.gov;


Voting against punishing local officials for violating Florida law were:

Senator Gwen Margolis (D-35) margolis.gwen@web.flsenate.gov;

Senator Chris Smith (D-29)  smith.chris.web@flsenate.gov;


Your e-mail to Senators was very effective (profuse thanks for your help).

REPORT ON  ROUND 2 **  House Subcommittee to Hear Legislation to STOP Governments Across Florida from Violating State Law

House Bill 45, introduced by state Representative Matt Gaetz (R-4), was heard today, February 8 in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.  HB 45 PASSED by a vote of 10 to 4.

HB 45 would provide penalties for government officials, local governments and agencies that willfully and knowingly violate the state firearms preemption law. There are no penalties currently in the law.

Voting to uphold Florida law, the Constitution and to protect your firearms rights were the following:

Representative Dennis Baxley (R-24)  dennis.baxley@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative Rich Glorioso (R-62)    rich.glorioso@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative James Grant (R-47)    james.grant@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative Gayle Harrell (R-81)    gayle.harrell@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative Charles McBurney (R-16)  charles.mcburney@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative Keith Perry (R-22)   keith.perry@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative Ray Pilon (R-69)    ray.pilon@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative John Tobia (R-31)    john.tobia@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative Carols Trujillo (R-116)   carlos.trujillo@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative Charles VanZant (R-21)  charles.vanzant@myfloridahouse.gov;


Voting
AGAINST the bill and therefore against punishing local officials for violating Florida law were:

Representative Daphne Campbell (D-108)  daphne.campbell@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative John Julian (D-104)   john.julien@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative Ari Porth (D-96)  ari.porth@myfloridahouse.gov;

Representative Perry Thurston (D-93)  perry.thurston@myfloridahouse.gov;


ABSENT: Representative Dwight Bullard (D-118)

Thanks again for all the e-mails to your Senators and Representatives.  They listen when you speak.

BACKGROUND AND WHY THESE BILLS ARE NEEDED

In 1987, the Florida Legislature passed a firearms preemption statute  (f.s.790.33) to provide uniformity of gun laws -- in fact, it is called the "Joe Carlucci Uniform Firearms Act."

It was intended to stop local governments from making criminals out of law-abiding citizens just because they simply crossed a city limit or county line.  It was intended to provide uniform gun laws so that no matter where in the state you live and no matter where in the state you travel, the same gun laws apply.

Unfortunately, the law contains no penalties for violations because no one ever imagined that local elected officials and government workers would willfully and knowingly violate state law.

The absence of penalties has lead to many intentional violations and has resulted in subsequent lawsuits to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Over and over again, NRA attorneys have written letters to local governments informing them that proposed ordinances violate state law.  Unfortunately, when their lawyers confirm that the ordinance would be illegal, they usually also explain that there are no penalties for violating the law -- consequently, some jurisdictions have arrogantly thumbed their noses at state law and have passed illegal ordinances anyway.

In 2000, the City of South Miami was one of the cities that NRA lawyers wrote concerning a proposed ordinance that violated state law.

The City's external counsel confirmed that it was a violation, but also noted that there were no penalties.  We were informed that city Commissioners were told that without penalties, they could do what they wanted to do.  Further, an illegal ordinance would stand until the City was sued and a court declared the ordinance void.

The rights of law-abiding gun-owners were being violated, so NRA sued.

NRA won the lawsuit and, in fact, the appellate court even noted in its opinion that the court had previously ruled that local ordinances violate state law.

The court refused to award NRA attorney's fees.  But nobody said the City couldn't use tax dollars to pay their own expenses and pay outside counsel to defend their illegal actions.  That is egregious.

So, not only did they violate the rights of residents but then they used their tax dollars to pay the legal fees of those who intentionally did it.

It is not the NRA's responsibility to enforce state law, but nobody else will do it because there are no specified penalties.

A local attorney is currently suing Lee County for violating the state preemption law.

In the Lee County case, not only did state Representative Paige Kreegel tell them their ordinance was illegal, but then-Attorney General Bill McCollum also told them.

This has to stop!

These bills provide penalties for local officials, local governments and agencies that willfully and knowingly violate the preemption law. These penalties are severe to deter further violations.

It is clear that some jurisdictions are predisposed to violating the law in the absence of severe penalties.  That's why the bill provides felony penalties for those who willfully and knowingly participate in the violation and up to a $5 million dollar fine for the offending entity.

Sound extreme?  In 2004, the legislature passed legislation prohibiting any form of gun registration or the compiling of any lists of gun owners or guns.  The penalties are identical to those in this bill; that's why they're in this one.

Gun registration schemes, lists and data bases that violated the law suddenly were destroyed.  To our knowledge, there have been no intentional violations since that law passed. There have been no prosecutions under that law.  It has been the ultimate deterrent.  Anyone who has unintentionally violated the law has immediately taken action to come into compliance when notified.

This is not about putting people in jail or imposing big fines -- unless absolutely necessary.  We just want local public officials, elected and otherwise, to quit violating the state law and stop trampling the rights of Florida’s law-abiding gun-owners.

 

Please continue to check your e-mail and www.NRAILA.org for updates on SB 402 and HB 45.
TRENDING NOW
U.S. Politicians Cheer New Zealand Gun Confiscation

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

U.S. Politicians Cheer New Zealand Gun Confiscation

American gun owners have once again been reminded that the ultimate goal of U.S. gun control advocates is firearms bans and confiscation. Since the heinous terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, American anti-gun politicians, activists, ...

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

The Last Frontier is also one of the last places one expects to find rights-trampling government officials. The state’s strong libertarian streak is one of the reasons a recent report regarding the authoritarian behavior of an official ...

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

Hunting  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

On March 20th, the Iowa state House of Representatives voted 57-40 to pass House File 716 to improve hunting opportunities in Iowa by expanding the types of cartridges that may be used for hunting.  HF 716 will ...

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

The ongoing cheerleading effort by the international press in furtherance of the New Zealand government’s gun confiscation plans is enough to make any journalist with even a shred of objectivity blush. Worse, some outlets have ...

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

News  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

The NRA applauds Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for signing Senate Bill 150 into law, an NRA-backed bill that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

News  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

NRA applauds the Vermont Superior Court for allowing a lawsuit challenging the State's ban on standard capacity magazines to proceed. 

Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

NRA applauds Illinois court ruling throwing out Village of Deerfield's ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines.

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

On March 14, pro-gun Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced S. 821 the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry in the provision of financial services.

Washington: Firearm Seizure & Other Bills to Be Heard In Committees

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Washington: Firearm Seizure & Other Bills to Be Heard In Committees

This week, the Washington state Senate Committee on Law & Justice and the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary will be hearing several bills affecting Second Amendment rights that crossed over from the opposite ...

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA New Mexico FAL Couple -- Fighting Bloomberg Gun Control

Take Action  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA New Mexico FAL Couple -- Fighting Bloomberg Gun Control

The precursor to the NRA-ILA Frontlines Activist Leader Program (FAL) was known as the NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC) Program, and it started in 1994.  The “Election” in the EVC title was there to emphasize ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.