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NRA Calls Lawsuit By Local Governments Against Preemption of Gun Control, “Childish”

April 3rd, 2018 by Jake Stofan

After Parkland, some Florida cities and counties have moved to tighten local gun laws, but state law prevents them from making the change. Now, nearly a dozen Florida cities are seeking to have the ban on local preemption declared unconstitutional.

The preemption by the state for enacting tighter gun control measures dates back to 1987.

Many municipalities ignored it, until 2011, when lawmakers placed tough penalties for local officials who passed stiffer gun restrictions, despite the law.

Local officials can be fined $5,000, be held personally responsible for any lawsuits and face removal from office.

Those penalties were supported by the NRA.


“Uniformity is important because we are a mobile society,” said Marion Hammer with the NRA.

In the wake of Parkland there has been a growing number of local governments seeking  to enact bans on high capacity magazines and assault rifles.

Now, 10 jurisdictions are suing the state, arguing the 2011 penalties are unconstitutional.

It’s an argument supported by Gubernatorial Candidate Philip Levine.

He fought the state after passing a local assault weapon ban as mayor of Miami Beach.


“Those mayors are fantastic, they’re brave, they’re doing the right thing,” said Levine.

The Governor’s Office says it’s reviewing the lawsuit.

It’s unclear what, if any retaliation the cities listed in the suit might face.

The NRA calls the lawsuit childish. It’s also calling on the Governor and Legislature to continue holding local government officials accountable.

“That’s like children saying I know I did something I wasn’t supposed to do, but you shouldn’t punish me,” said Hammer.

Other cities and counties are expected to join the lawsuit going forward.

If the lawsuit doesn’t side in the local governments’ favor, a ballot initiative is being spearheaded for the 2020 ballot that could put the question of assault weapons and high capacity magazines in front of voters.

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