State Urges Dismissal Of Gun Law Challenge

July 13, 2018

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office this week urged a circuit judge to dismiss a challenge to a law that imposes strict penalties on local governments and officials who violate a restriction on regulating guns and ammunition.

Numerous local governments and officials are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed in April. The case is rooted in a decades-old law that gives the state power to regulate firearms and ammunition and “preempts” the ability of local governments to approve such regulations.

In 2011, the Legislature approved stiff penalties for local governments and officials who violate the state preemption law, including potential removal from office and fines. The municipalities allege in the lawsuit that the penalties are unconstitutional.

But Bondi’s office this week filed a motion to dismiss the case on a number of grounds, including that the local governments’ arguments are “speculative” because the state has not threatened to enforce the law against the plaintiffs.

“Plaintiffs do not allege that any of the defendants named in these actions (or any other state official) has ‘actually threatened’ them (or anyone else) with enforcement of the challenged provisions,” the motion said. “Instead, plaintiffs allege only that, because they wish to enact and enforce ordinances that may be preempted … they are concerned that they may, at some indeterminate point in the future, be threatened with enforcement by some entity or individual they do not identify. Accordingly, these actions should be dismissed for a lack of judiciable case or controversy.”

The case has been assigned to Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson.


5 Responses to “State Urges Dismissal Of Gun Law Challenge”

  1. Simmer Down on July 14th, 2018 7:36 pm

    If a mayor or city council passes a resolution that says people can’t play the piano on Thursdays in the city limits, what would happen? The new city ordinance would be found to violate the state’s constitution and would be tossed out, right? Pianists would rejoice, and there would be beautiful music. Would members of the city council be fined or removed from office? No. Only firearms get this special protection, as far as I can tell.

    I completely understand why it is important that there be uniformity of gun laws. I get it.

    But imagine the residents of Santa Rosa County wanted to go back to being a dry county on Sundays. If their county commissioners pass a law that later gets struck down, they aren’t fined. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.

    Now, if the residents of Santa Rosa County decide they want to allow ten-year-olds to be able to purchase ammunition and the county commissioners pass such an ordinance, why should the commissioners be financially liable if the courts decide the ordinance is unconstitutional? Shouldn’t the ordinance just be stricken?

    It seems sort of arbitrary that only gun laws receive such a protection.

    Here’s the statute: 790.33 Field of regulation of firearms and ammunition preempted.— The fine is up to $5,000.


  2. Rocky on July 13th, 2018 11:02 pm

    Gee… I don’t recall any of the Bill of Rights containing anything that states, Cities shall not be penalized for passing unconstitutional laws that prohibit the people’s right to keep and bear arms. In fact, I’m relatively certain it’s not there. Nor is there anything in the Constitution that says Cities shall have more authority to write law than the State or Federal Government. Therefore, if the Federal Government says the people shall have the right to keep and bear arms. And, the State says the Cities shall not pass gun laws that preempt State Law, or they shall be penalized. I’d have to guess that the Democrats in those cities are just going to have to suck it up and live with what they got!

    The law was written for a reason; so all residents of the State of Florida were protected from local municipalities passing thousands of laws for the state’s residents to have to try to keep up with. The law was designed to protect law abiding gun owning residents of the state of Florida, since it is impossible to imagine the ridiculous number of laws we would have in place were every city council and every county board in the state allowed to write such laws.


    What they want makes absolutely no sense, what so ever.

  3. John on July 13th, 2018 4:08 pm

    If you want to live like Cali or Illinois, then move there.

  4. jp on July 13th, 2018 8:00 am

    Doing away with this law would be a lot worse than bringing back the speed traps some cities used to run.
    You would not know where you could travel in the state with a firearm in your vehicle without the danger of going to jail and be subject to fines just for having a gun.

  5. mike on July 13th, 2018 5:55 am

    really, how dare they? don’t they know this isn’t America where they have the right to keep and bear arms, this is Amerika, where that nonsense is over with? have a good day, comrade! lol! :D

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