TeeJaw Blog

Florida’s Preemption Statute Gets Teeth This Saturday

Posted in Government and Politics, Gun Rights by TeeJaw on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 11: 22 AM

Florida has had a state preemption statute since 1987 preventing local gun restrictions.  All gun laws in Florida must be enacted by the Florida State legislature.  Cities, towns and counties must enforce only those laws, and cannot make up new ones for their own jurisdictions.  But there were no penalties for violation of the state law by local officials, so they willy nilly adopted their own ordnances often banning guns or denying the carrying if guns even by those with State-issued concealed carry permits.  In other words, local officials charged with local law enforcement routinely and systematically violated state law.  And some wonder why I’m so cynical about bureaucrats and politicians?

That changes this Saturday.  That’s when a new Florida State law goes into effect that will impose fines up to $5,000 on municipal and county officials for enforcing local gun ordnances.  In some cases, they may even be removed from office.  One official says “This is the stupidest thing the State Legislature has ever done.”

Yeah, pretty stupid. Making sure those charged with enforcing laws obey them.

About one million Florida residents have CCW permits issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture. Now they will have all the rights the permit confers.

One need not be a resident of Florida to qualify for a permit and several thousand permits have been issued to non-residents. Florida has many visitors and before their CCW law was enacted in 1987 tourists were being targeted by criminals. Requirements to qualify are a clean criminal record, lawfully ability to posses firearms under Federal Law, and satisfaction of a firearms training course.

Florida residents enjoy substantial gun rights making Florida a high liberty state. It’s law against misuse of firearms are among the strictest in the nation. For example, merely pointing a gun at another person in anger or to settle a dispute, even if the gun is unloaded, is a felony carrying a 3-year mandatory prison sentence. In many other states the same conduct would be charged as a misdemeanor, at least once.

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