A Florida House Democrat on Wednesday launched a longshot effort to call a special legislative session to address gun-related issues after recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y.

Florida Supreme Court Says Local Governments Cannot Impose Gun Control

The Florida Supreme Court this week upheld the state’s right to prevent local governments from implementing liberal gun-control regulations, handing the state a “big win,” as Attorney General Ashley Moody noted.
TFP File Photo

The Florida Supreme Court this week upheld the state’s right to prevent local governments from implementing liberal gun-control regulations, handing the state a “big win,” as Attorney General Ashley Moody noted.

At issue was a 1987 state law, enacted when Democrats controlled the Legislature, that empowered lawmakers to override any local regulation on guns or ammunition regarding their manufacture, sales, possession, or ownership.

In 2011, the state beefed up the law, introducing financial penalties for local officials who violate the original law.

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Consequently, 33 local governments throughout Florida sued the state following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, claiming the imposition of fines for implementing local regulations was unconstitutional.  

The Supreme Court disagreed.

The justices noted that the state’s First District Court of Appeals rejected the local governments’ claims, saying provisions are both “valid and enforceable.”

“By expressly preempting the field of firearms and ammunition regulation, the Legislature has deprived local governments and officials of any authority or discretion to contravene, exceed, or evade the Legislature’s regulation of this field,” the court said in its 30-page ruling.

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“It is not a core municipal function to occupy an area that the Legislature has preempted, and local governments have no lawful discretion or authority to enact ordinances that violate state preemption.”

Edward Guedes, a lawyer who represented the local government, said, “Naturally, we’re disappointed by the decision because we believe it sets a dangerous precedent for hometown democracy in Florida.”

On the other hand, Moody celebrated, tweeting, “Big win for our office in the Florida Supreme Court. Our attorneys fought hard to make sure local governments can’t trample on your 2nd Amendment rights.”

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