Judge strikes down gun regulation penalties law

Miami's Community Newspapers

A Tallahassee judge on Friday struck down a state law that threatened city and county officials with a $5,000 fine if they approved gun regulations tougher than state laws. Judge Charles Dodson said that Florida legislators can block local regulation of firearms but that penalizing local officials for passing stricter laws is unconstitutional.

In May 2018, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Barbara Jordan requesting that the county attorney research and evaluate potential legal theories and causes of action concerning the state of Florida’s preemption of local government regulation of firearms and ammunition, and authorizing the county attorney to take legal action should such research and analysis present a viable claim. The item also authorized the County to join a lawsuit filed by Broward County.

In the wake of the mass shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, several South Florida municipalities banded together to challenge the state law, including Miami, Miami Gardens, Pompano Beach, Pinecrest, South Miami, Cutler Bay and Lauderhill.

In February 2018, Jordan sponsored a resolution urging Congress to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban and urging the Florida Legislature to impose a state ban on assault weapons or lift the preemption on local governments. She has historically sponsored these and other gun control urging items annually.

The commission also approved another Jordan-sponsored resolution directing the Mayor to examine the enforcement of the County’s five-day waiting period and criminal records check for firearms sales.

“This is a major win and the first step in gaining authority over gun control locally,” Commissioner Jordan said.

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