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
“Fact Checker:” Joe Biden’s “Gun Ban” Not a Gun Ban Because Some Guns Wouldn’t Be Banned

News  

Monday, July 15, 2019

“Fact Checker:” Joe Biden’s “Gun Ban” Not a Gun Ban Because Some Guns Wouldn’t Be Banned

Facebook has teamed up with what it calls “third-party fact-checkers” to punish users of its platform that post information embarrassing or inconvenient to this outlook. Yet like most sources of what passes as “news” or ...

California: City of San Diego Considers Gun Control Ordinance

Friday, July 12, 2019

California: City of San Diego Considers Gun Control Ordinance

San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott has asked the City Council to consider a draft ordinance that would require mandatory locked storage of firearms in the home and would propose a conflicting law regarding the reporting of ...

Hollywood Fantasy v. Reality on Firearm Suppressors

News  

Monday, July 15, 2019

Hollywood Fantasy v. Reality on Firearm Suppressors

It’s no secret that Hollywood has a very loose relationship with reality.  The movie industry, after all, is based on fantasy and escapism, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  If someone wants to forget ...

California: Injunction Request to be Filed in Lawsuit Challenging California Ammo Law

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

California: Injunction Request to be Filed in Lawsuit Challenging California Ammo Law

CRPA, with the support of NRA, challenged the ammunition background check law in court months ago with the filing of the Rhode v. Becerra case. The lead plaintiff in the case is Olympic gold medalist shooter ...

Hawaii: Governor Ige Signs Anti-Gun Legislation

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Hawaii: Governor Ige Signs Anti-Gun Legislation

On July 9th, Governor David Ige signed the final remaining anti-gun bill awaiting his consideration, Senate Bill 600. This comes on the heels of him signing Senate Bill 1466 on June 27th. 

Presidential Pretender Who Campaigned on Gun Control First to Call It Quits

News  

Monday, July 15, 2019

Presidential Pretender Who Campaigned on Gun Control First to Call It Quits

On Monday, Eric Swalwell became the first of the many pretenders for the Democrat presidential nomination to bow (or perhaps slink) out of the race. The U.S. Congressman from California’s 15th District had tried to distinguish himself from ...

Vox Wants to Take Your Guns

News  

Monday, July 8, 2019

Vox Wants to Take Your Guns

A conspiracy relies on secrecy. Some are, perhaps, never uncovered. Others are exposed by the conspirators themselves, who cannot help but share the details whether from arrogance or anxiousness. For years, law-abiding gun owners and ...

California: Legislature Breaks for Summer Recess

Sunday, July 14, 2019

California: Legislature Breaks for Summer Recess

The California Legislature has recessed for the summer and will return August 12 from the break. Last week, the following actions were taken by the Senate Public Safety Committee, Senate Natural Resources, and both the Senate ...

Recent Poll Shows Gun Control Not as Popular as Some Would Like to Believe

News  

Monday, July 8, 2019

Recent Poll Shows Gun Control Not as Popular as Some Would Like to Believe

A recent Morning Consult/POLITICO poll, conducted immediately prior to the recent  Democratic debates and gathering responses from 1,991 registered voters, asked about views toward the candidates, issues of potential importance in the election, voting intention, and ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

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.