Florida Mayors Suing to Invalidate State Preemption Law

On Monday ten Florida mayors joined six other plaintiffs in filing a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials. No, they’re not raft of new limits on Second Amendment rights just enacted after the Parkland shooting. Instead, they’re fighting to invalidate the former Gunshine State’s 2011 preemption law that imposes strict penalties on any city the enacts municipal level gun control laws that are more restrictive than state law.

Under the preemption law, a mayor or city council member can be removed from office and fined $5,000 if they enact local gun laws that conflict with the state’s.

Filed in Circuit Court in Leon County, the home to Florida’s state government in Tallahassee, the suit argues the 2011 sanctions overstep restrictions on a governor’s limited ability to remove a local elected official from office. The suit also claims the state law violates state rules protecting a municipal government’s authority to enact laws without fear of legal penalties against local lawmakers. More broadly, the suit calls Florida’s restraints an unconstitutional restriction of local democracy — including the responsibility of a city’s elected officials to respond to constituents petitioning for local action after the Parkland massacre.

In addition to being removed from office, each mayor can also be fined $5000 for signing more restrictive gun control regulations into law. The intent of preemption laws is intended to make it easier and less legally risky for lawful gun owners to travel around the state without having to figure out the gun laws in each municipality they visit.

“This violates our First Amendment rights,” Weston City Commissioner Toby Feuer said of the state law.

How a law that’s intended to protect citizens from a local government overreach would violate the First Amendment is a mystery to me, but then I’m not an attorney.

The Weston v Scott suit cites the case of Coral Gables Mayor Raul Valdés-Fauli. He gained unanimous support in a preliminary vote in city council to ban sales of “military-style rifles.” But the Coral Gables city council failed to pass the ban after they were warned by the city attorney warned of the possible financial consequences.

No word yet whether the city council is also considering bans cars or knives…two items which kill far more people in Coral Gables than modern sporting rifles. Mayor Valdés-Fauli remains defiant.

Valdés-Fauli still voted for it, saying he thought actually enacting a banned gun regulation would help his city’s legal case against the 2011 law. “I believe in civil disobedience when the laws are unjust,” he said.

Given the response of gun owners who live in areas where laws like registration requirements and magazine capacity limits have been enacted, that looks like one thing we can all agree on.

comments

  1. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “Valdés-Fauli still voted for it, saying he thought actually enacting a banned gun regulation would help his city’s legal case against the 2011 law. “I believe in civil disobedience when the laws are unjust,” he said.”

    So do I, Valdés-Fauli.

    What part of “…shall not be infringed.” are you too stupid to understand?

    1. avatar dlj95118(soon to be 83544) says:

      …I’m guessing all of it.

  2. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    How about fines or removal from office for laws that go against the Constitution? I think there would be lots of available office seats.

    Common sense isn’t that common.

    1. avatar Rick Bunn says:

      All we need to do is to sue all the way to the supreme court.

    2. avatar Mick says:

      That’s really the only flaw in the Constitution, that there is no penalty for politicians violating our rights besides possibly not getting re-elected. There should be prison time and hefty fines for any politician who voted for or signed any law found to be unconstitutional.

  3. avatar Jolly Roger That says:

    The government has no First Amendment right. It protects the people from overreaching laws… kind of like this Coral Gables nonsense. Elected officials who knowingly and willingly sign away their constituents’ rights ought to be punished far more harshly than a measly 5k fine. They should be barred from holding any government office ever again, full stop. Not even a park district receptionist.

  4. avatar Kenneth G Maiden says:

    Gray suited thugs demanding more TYRANNY. Simple as that.

    1. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

      Nah. Much more to it. First, try Soros money being funneled to these Mayors to start agitating anything possible with the Republican Governor who is soon running for the U.S. Senate. Second, these Democrat fvcks are trying to exploit the David Hogg-fired wave of Progressive bloody shirt anti-gun rabble rousing.

  5. avatar Desert Ranger says:

    Now we know what works. Finijg officials for civil rights infringement is the path we must take in each state and on the national level.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    “This violates our First Amendment rights,” Weston City Commissioner Toby Feuer said of the state law.

    So there is a First Amendment right to violate state law? Good to know. Now every thug in FL will be sure to use that excuse the next time he’s arrested.

    Hey, schmucko, you can say whatever you want. You just can’t pull new rules out of your nether regions.

    Methinks that Toby has an intelligence level rivaling that of a sea turtle.

    1. avatar Ginder27 says:

      Insulting sea turtles is a violation of their constitutional right to not be insulted by humans.

    2. avatar anonymoose says:

      That’s not a nice thing to say about turtles. 🙁

  7. avatar davida says:

    Heck it should appy to all states as well on further restrictions of fedral law since oaths of office are not doing the job.

  8. avatar SiGyStardust says:

    This is why I no longer vacation in Florida.

    1. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

      Because Mayors from the Democrat controlled cities are rabble rousing?

  9. avatar Kendahl says:

    What the mayors object to is the enforcement mechanism which will cause them personal pain if they disobey state law.

  10. avatar FortWorthColtGuy says:

    If no one has been charged or harmed, do any of them have standing?

  11. avatar AlanInFL says:

    It is the liberal South Florida politick machine going goofy again. I hope they get voted put this year. It is a stretch but anything can happen in 7 months.

  12. avatar Felix says:

    Dipshit can speak all he wants. No First Amendment violation there. What he can’t do is pass an illegal law, and that’s got nothing to do with the First Amendment.

  13. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Having this law is exactly the point, otherwise every city becomes its own little kingdom or city state, and just visiting or passing through could send you to jail. Conceal carry, no mag limit, scary looking rifles ok, whoops, just entered the city limits, now those rifles are banned, 7 round mag limit, no carry without personal permission of the mayor, etc etc.

    1. avatar Grumpster says:

      Exactly right about the preemption. Illinois democrats are trying to do the same thing to repeal the state preemption which would make it a nightmare for CCW holders. If I am driving through my home state and get pulled over for a burned out tail light and local LEO asks to see my CCW weapon and sees I have a Glock 19 with a 15 round magazine and recently enacted local ordinance bans anything over in 10, then my pistol gets confiscated and I get cuffed and taken to local police station to be charged with crimes and have to post bail if I don’t want to be in jail and given a court date and have to hire a lawyer. Then I would shortly after get a notification my Illinois FOID and CCW are getting revoked for breaking a firearms law and I have to turn in all my firearms to the police. Meanwhile here in Illinois they welcome illegal aliens with open arms and sign them up on various welfare programs and protect them from prosecution for breaking immigration and other laws.

  14. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    “..This violates our First Amendment rights,” Weston City Commissioner Toby Feuer said of the state law.”

    No. You are a City.

    *Citizens* have First Amendment Rights, not Cities.

  15. avatar AZD says:

    That’s a grim looking crew right there.

    They would look better if they all wore brown shirts.

    Just sayin’.

  16. avatar Silphy says:

    Hmm, if this violates your first amendment rights…then I guess that one gal refusing to sign marriage licenses for gays was just having her first amendment rights violated too, right?

  17. avatar Fedbot says:

    First Amendment right…psshhhh

  18. avatar Joe R. says:

    F FL

    Especially the evil communist POS (D).

  19. avatar Defens says:

    Filing suit to abrogate the state law should actually qualify as violating the law itself. Some Floridian needs to citizens-arrest all of these miscreant mayors and charge them with conspiring to violate pre-emption.

  20. avatar Graf says:

    Would be nice to see the State legislature revoke the city charters for those involved in this nonsense. But it’s the same spineless legislature that passed that miserable gun control law so I doubt they have what it takes to remind the cities of their place in the states hierarchy.

  21. avatar Sam I Am says:

    This is what tribal warfare looks like. This is what Balkanization looks like. This is what anarchy looks like. Every community (political party, special interest group, race, creed, nationality, etc) wants special laws for their special circumstance.

    This is what disintegration of a nation looks like.

  22. avatar Jester says:

    F@ck these s. Florida communists …Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli, Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam and Weston Mayor Daniel Stermer….along with socialist gov Rick Scott! They’re so worried about their first amend rights… But so so willing to throw our 2nd under the bus…

  23. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    These guys are being PIA just because they can. And Soros is paying their costs. I wish he would die already.
    I hope it does go to court. They loose and get slapped with a $5000 fine and loss of their jobs for being PIAs and breaking the Preemption law. This was all done already by the now useless Congress critter who represents me now when she was Mayor of Palm Beach. She backed off then because she knew damm well she would loose and be fined etc.
    These jerks are why the law was enforced by the state courts in 2011.

  24. avatar Dan H says:

    As far as I can tell under the Florida constitution, their best outcome here would be that the *penalties* could be stricken and that they could therefore legislate to their wicked delight… but that those laws would be void on their face. The Florida Supreme Court can treat any statute as severable, i.e. they can strike parts of it but not all. There is nothing in their claim that makes a compelling argument that the state legislature doesn’t have the power to preempt city and county law.

  25. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Hidden somewhere in a Florida swamp sits Ponce de Leon sipping on his fountain of youth.

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