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

News  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

ALERT ! YETI Adds Insult to Injury

If it wasn’t bad enough that YETI dropped The NRA Foundation as a client, now they’re calling us liars because we informed our members and friends of their actions.  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Florida Alert: YETI Drops NRA Foundation

For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country.  Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The ...

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

Dick’s Sporting Goods took their campaign to alienate law-abiding gun owners to an extraordinary new level last week. The beleaguered retailer announced that in addition to removing certain types of semi-automatic rifles from their stores, the company ...

NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

News  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action executive director, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement on Tuesday regarding President Donald Trump's signature on the National Defense Authorization Act

California: Legislation Requiring Background Checks on Barrels and Other Parts Up For Hearing!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

California: Legislation Requiring Background Checks on Barrels and Other Parts Up For Hearing!

Several pro- and anti-gun bills are scheduled to be heard in their respective committees on Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24.  Please contact the members of the respective committee and urge them to SUPPORT ...

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms!  In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms! In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

In case you were worried there were not enough anti-gun organizations working to eradicate the rights of law-abiding gun owners, a new one has formed, and it’s called NoRA.  Get it?  The name implies that the ...

Minnesota: Two Anti-Gun Amendments to be Introduced and Considered Tomorrow

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Minnesota: Two Anti-Gun Amendments to be Introduced and Considered Tomorrow

Tomorrow, anti-gun state Senator Ron Latz is expected to introduce two gun control amendments to the Senate Judiciary Omnibus finance bill on the Senate floor.

Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

Like the long-delayed coming of spring to the Mid-Atlantic, evidence is appearing that Americans are regaining their senses and reverting to an instinctual embrace of freedom after a withering barrage of some the nastiest and most ugly ...

Illinois: Senate to Consider Overriding Veto on Dealer Licensing Bills

Monday, April 23, 2018

Illinois: Senate to Consider Overriding Veto on Dealer Licensing Bills

With the April 25th deadline approaching, the Illinois state Senate is expected soon to consider overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto on legislation that would drive your local gun stores out of business with onerous red tape ...

Delaware: Mandatory Gun Storage Legislation to be Heard in Committee Today

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Delaware: Mandatory Gun Storage Legislation to be Heard in Committee Today

Today, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider anti-gun House Bill 366.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.