Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert: Court Rules Public Officials Can't Be Punished for Violating the Law

Monday, July 29, 2019

 

DATE:    July 29, 2019
TO:          USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:    Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President

A Leon County Circuit Court judge has just given rogue, anti-gun public officials a "get-out-of-jail-free card."  

This court has effectively given tacit approval for local government officials to knowingly and willfully violate the state preemption law by striking down the penalty provisions.  The message is:  go ahead and violate the law, the state can't punish you. 

Specifically, in a lawsuit brought by several anti-gun South Florida cities and counties, the court struck down the $5,000 fine and the risk of removal from office for individual public officials, local governments, and government agencies who willfully and knowing violate the state preemption law by adopting local gun control ordinances. 

In their opposition brief, the NRA argued "It is a bedrock principle of American constitutional law that local governments have no legal authority to defy the will of their creator: the state." 

This ruling is like a parent telling an underage teenager, you are forbidden to smoke, drink alcohol, or do drugs -- but don't worry, if you disobey me and do it anyhow, I won't punish you. 

The ruling flies in the face of one of the basic fundamentals of the judicial system. Punishment is the deterrent component of the justice system.  Without punishment, not only will offenders will be encouraged to re-offend but others who had feared punishment will be encouraged to join the lawbreaking activities. 

There is little doubt that Attorney General Ashley Moody will appeal the ruling on behalf of the state. There is no enforcement capability of laws that have no punishment. 

 

BACKGROUND: 

Florida Statutes section 790.33 is the firearms preemption statute, which prevents local governments from violating Second Amendment rights by passing gun control ordinances.  Under the law, only the Legislature can regulate the field of firearms and ammunition, a constitutionally protected area. 

The preemption law was passed in 1987 but contained no penalties. No one anticipated or even imagined the disrespect for the law that some local public officials began to demonstrate.  No one foresaw that local public officials (who had sworn to uphold the law) would knowingly and willfully violate state law because there were no penalties.  

In 2011, fed up with these willful violations of law, the legislature amended the statute to create civil penalties for knowingly and willfully violating the preemption law by enacting prohibited firearms or ammunition ordinances/regulation.  The penalties were imposed on the offending governmental entity and on individual public officials. 

These penalties are not for accidental, unintentional or inadvertent violation of the law.  They are for KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY violating the law. 

That any court would condone, and give tacit approval to intentional violations of the law by public officials is not only alarming, it is injurious to the fabric of the deterrent effect of the structure and intent of laws.  It is particularly perilous when it comes to those laws promulgated to shield and protect the public from the actions of imprudent public officials.

 

 

 

 

IN THIS ARTICLE
Florida Preemption Laws
TRENDING NOW
Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Alert! Florida REPUBLICAN Senators Vote for Massive Gun Control Bill

On Monday, 1/13/20, it happened again.  Senate President Bill Galvano picked a fight with Floridians who believe in the constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It is well known -- even by the media ...

Virginia: Bill Filed to Eliminate Right-to-Carry Permit Reciprocity!

News  

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Virginia: Bill Filed to Eliminate Right-to-Carry Permit Reciprocity!

In an unhinged effort to attack Virginians’ Second Amendment rights, one member of the Michael Bloomberg-bought General Assembly is willing to undermine a bipartisan policy advanced by the previous Democratic governor and target one of the state’s ...

Grassroots Ramp Up Continues in the Old Dominion

News  

Friday, January 10, 2020

Grassroots Ramp Up Continues in the Old Dominion

Virginia’s General Assembly officially kicked off on January 8th, and the newly-controlled anti-gun legislative body is wasting no time in pushing its crusade against our gun rights.  Facing a barrage of bills anathema to our ...

Washington: “Gun-Free Zone” Bill on Senate Floor

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Washington: “Gun-Free Zone” Bill on Senate Floor

On January 13th, the Washington Senate pulled Senate Bill 5434 from the Senate Rules Committee back to the floor, where it can receive a vote at any time. SB 5434 was retained as a carry-over ...

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

News  

Friday, March 29, 2019

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

In one of the strongest judicial statements in favor of the Second Amendment to date, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined on Friday that California’s ...

Virginia: Senate Judiciary Committee* Passes Anti-Gun Bills

Monday, January 13, 2020

Virginia: Senate Judiciary Committee* Passes Anti-Gun Bills

The Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee met today and wasted no time in passing gun control bills as their first order of business.

Virginia: Senate Voting On Anti-Gun Bills Today!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Virginia: Senate Voting On Anti-Gun Bills Today!

The anti-gun majority continues to fast track their agenda. On January 16th, the full Virginia Senate will be holding floor votes on the gun control bills that only left committee on Monday.

Virginia: General Assembly Passes Capitol Gun Ban

Friday, January 10, 2020

Virginia: General Assembly Passes Capitol Gun Ban

Days before law-abiding citizens are set to go to Richmond to urge lawmakers to defend their rights, the new anti-gun majority of the Virginia General Assembly has passed an immediate gun ban for the Pocahontas Building and the ...

Washington: Additional Hearing Scheduled on Gun Ban Bills

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Washington: Additional Hearing Scheduled on Gun Ban Bills

On Tuesday, January 21st, at 10AM, the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee will consider several anti-gun bills that would severely restrict the Constitutional Rights of law-abiding Washingtonian citizens. This hearing comes just one day ...

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.