Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

**ROUND 25** STOP Local Government Violations of Firearms Preemption in Florida

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DATE:     April 20, 2011
TO:          USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM:    Marion P. Hammer
                USF Executive Director
                NRA Past President

When the Legislature returns from the Easter Recess there will only be two weeks left of Regular Legislation Session.  Bills will begin rapidly moving to the floor of each chamber and we must be prepared.  Now is the time to start letting ALL legislators know that we want their support on our priority legislation. 

Today we begin letting them know -- starting with the Senate.  It is essential that you help communicate on ALL of the bills in the coming days.  There are six bills -- three in the state Senate and three in the state House.  Please begin:

Senate Bill 402, introduced by state Senator Joe Negron (R-28), SB 402 would simply provide penalties for government officials, local governments and agencies that willfully and knowingly violate the state firearms preemption law.  State law prohibits local governments and government agencies from adopting any gun control ordinances or regulations.  There are some who are arrogantly violating the law because there are no penalties currently in the law.
 
SB 402 is a bill to STOP local politicians and governments from violating state law by providing penalties for willful violations.

You must act now.

 

URGENT!

 

The Full Senate Must Hear From You!

PLEASE IMMEDIATELY E-MAIL Members of the Senate

In the subject line put: 

SUPPORT SB-402 -- Stop local governments from violating state law.


(Block and Copy All email addresses into the "Send To" box -- A few email providers require that you remove the commas following each email address)

alexander.jd.web@flsenate.gov,
altman.thad.web@flsenate.gov,
benacquisto.lizbeth.web@flsenate.gov,
bennett.mike.web@flsenate.gov,
bogdanoff.ellyn.web@flsenate.gov,
bullard.larcenia.web@flsenate.gov,
dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov,
detert.nancy.web@flsenate.gov,
portilla.miguel.web@flsenate.gov,
dockery.paula.web@flsenate.gov,
evers.greg.web@flsenate.gov,
fasano.mike.web@flsenate.gov,
flores.anitere.web@flsenate.gov,
gaetz.don.web@flsenate.gov,
garcia.rene.web@flsenate.gov,
gardiner.andy.web@flsenate.gov,
haridopolos.mike.web@flsenate.gov,
hays.alan.web@flsenate.gov,
hill.tony.web@flsenate.gov,
jones.dennis.web@flsenate.gov,
joyner.arthenia.web@flsenate.gov,
latvala.jack.web@flsenate.gov,
lynn.evelyn.web@flsenate.gov,
margolis.gwen.web@flsenate.gov,
montford.bill.web@flsenate.gov,
negron.joe.web@flsenate.gov,
norman.jim.web@flsenate.gov,
oelrich.steve.web@flsenate.gov,
rich.nan.web@flsenate.gov,
richter.garrett.web@flsenate.gov,
ring.jeremy.web@flsenate.gov,
sachs.maria.web@flsenate.gov,
simmons.david.web@flsenate.gov,
siplin.gary.web@flsenate.gov,
smith.chris.web@flsenate.gov,
sobel.eleanor.web@flsenate.gov,
storms.ronda.web@flsenate.gov,
thrasher.john.web@flsenate.gov,
wise.stephen.web@flsenate.gov

BACKGROUND and WHY THIS IS 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.

TRENDING NOW
Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

The Illinois state Senate could vote on legislation to allow localities to infringe upon Second Amendment rights as early as today.  Senate Bill 2314 was moved to third reading after it had passed the Senate ...

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, murders, there has been an unusual amount of anti-gun and anti-NRA commentary by private corporations with plenty of problems of their own.   In February, Delta announced it was ending a ...

Pennsylvania: Semi-Auto Ban Legislation to be Introduced

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Pennsylvania: Semi-Auto Ban Legislation to be Introduced

This week, Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) started circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum soliciting members of the Pennsylvania state Senate to support a proposal to ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines in Pennsylvania.  Please ...

UK Officials Continue to Push Knife/Gun/Cleaning Products Control

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

UK Officials Continue to Push Knife/Gun/Cleaning Products Control

The UK’s descent into absurdity continued this week as officials announced new efforts to crack down on knives and other potentially dangerous objects. The renewed interest in banning sharp objects stems from a recent spate of killings in London. ...

Illinois: Committees to Hear Gun Control

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Illinois: Committees to Hear Gun Control

Today, the Illinois state House Judiciary-Criminal Committee will be considering a floor amendment that was added to House Bill 1470 to ration the exercise of Second Amendment rights. In addition, the state Senate Judiciary Committee will consider bills that would ...

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

On Monday, the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee approved several gun control bills during a hearing that stretched over five hours. 

Washington: Seattle to Consider Legislation to Make Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Washington: Seattle to Consider Legislation to Make Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember M. Lorena González have announced their intention to introduce legislation to impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as well as punishing victims of theft by requiring reporting of lost or ...

NRA backs Challenge to Vermont Magazine Ban

News  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NRA backs Challenge to Vermont Magazine Ban

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced support for a lawsuit brought by Vermont citizens, sporting-goods stores, and shooting clubs to challenge the state¹s recent ban on many of the most ...

Trial Judge Mocks the Late Justice Scalia While Upholding Expansive Gun Ban

Second Amendment  

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Trial Judge Mocks the Late Justice Scalia While Upholding Expansive Gun Ban

Gun owners have seen many outrageous instances of courts dismissing the importance, if not the very existence, of the individual right to keep and bear arms. But Judge William G. Young of the U.S. District ...

NRA Applauds Law Protecting Privacy of Firearms Records

News  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

NRA Applauds Law Protecting Privacy of Firearms Records

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action applauds Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts for signing into law legislation that protects the confidentiality of personal information associated with many firearm records.

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.