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West Palm Mayor Jeri Muoio is still making it up as she goes along. She’s been frustrated by the failure of her first two efforts to thumb her nose at Forida’s new enhanced state law that prevents her from enforcing local anti-gun measures that are more restrictive than anything on the state’s books. Now she’s reached back into her bag of too-cute-by-half gun controller’s tricks to come up with yet another new policy for dealing with lawful concealed carriers who want to enter city hall to transact business.

Let’s recap, shall we? Muoio, who’s described by her hometown paper as “ardently anti-gun,” initially decided to say FU to Tallahassee and keep West Palm’s existing restrictions in place. But once a city lawyer explained to her that she’d face heavy personal fines and could – quelle nightmare! – actually be removed from office, she re-thought that plan.

Instead of defiance, Herroner the Mayor decided intimidation and inconvenience might work and still keep her in technical compliance with state law. Diktat number two required gunnies wishing to enter her little fiefdom to have a personal police escort while in the building. As you might expect, that didn’t go over well, either. Public outcry and claims that the escorts might constitute unlawful detention sent her back to her hoplophobic drawing board.

Swing number three at the state’s high hard one thrown her way doesn’t seem much more likely to pass legal – 0r public opinion – muster.

Citizens with a concealed weapons permit will be allowed to enter city hall with a gun. However, the gun owner will only be allowed to remain on the first floor, and a police officer will be stationed by the elevators for enforcement.

“The first floor is the public area. Everything else is non-public,” City Attorney Claudia McKenna said at Thursday’s agenda review meeting.

But floors 2 through 5, including the commissioners’ and mayor’s offices, are “business offices,” not public spaces required to be open to gun-holders, she said.

State law doesn’t allow guns in meetings with a governing body, so guns will be banned from the commission auditorium during city meetings. A city spokesman would not say whether officers will be stationed outside the auditorium or by the staircase that leads to the second floor, to keep anyone from violating the rule.­

What the policy doesn’t appear to take into account is what happens when a citizen has business to conduct with the mayor, the building commissioner, or any of the other “business offices” on one of the upper floors. Will those officials come down to floor one to deal directly with the virtually radioactive gun-carrying citizens who have to deal with the city?

Muoio seems willing to do just about anything to publicly beclown herself in order to establish her anti-gun bona fides and let the state government know she’s not going to be pushed around. Instead, she looks foolish and is unlikely to prevail in the end.

Florida’s had a law preventing more restrictive local gun rules for years. The new, harsher penalties that take effect tomorrow were enacted specifically for recalcitrant cities like West Palm that continued to raise a figurative middle finger at the state edict. Muoio seems hell-bent on provoking a legal challenge to her efforts to have things her way. It remains to be seen if the good people of West Palm Beach are willing to pay the legal bills necessary to indulge her.

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  1. New law takes effect Oct. 1. Let’s see what she is thinking by the close of business after the good citizens of WPB show up en masse armed under her little policy and someone files suit. She is so asking to pay $5,000 fines.

      • Exactly. She is getting bad legal advice from City Atty Claudia McKenna. I say that since the offices are probably closed Saturday when the law takes effect, a group of 20 or so patriots show up on Monday morning and try to get denied access to the 2nd or upper floors. That’s $100,000 in potential fines (probably the Mayor’s salary) plus the fixins for a good lawsuit.

        Make it so, Mr. Sulu.

  2. “It remains to be seen if the good people of West Palm Beach are willing to pay the legal bills necessary to indulge her.”

    I question whether under the state law, WPB can pay her legal bills? IIRC, the statute said the offending jurisdiction could not indemnify bureaucrats who violated the law, which is why many of the cities have been changing their ordinances. If they could be indemnfied, then it would be easy for them to flaunt the law and let the little people pick up the tab for their ilegal high horse. However, since they are complying, I suspect they know that they better have their own legal defense funds (ie, 2nd mortgage) ready to go. Let’s see how the mayor feels about her position now. My only question for anyone in WPB is whether or not she is rich and can afford to shed a few coins for publicity?

  3. But floors 2 through 5, including the commissioners’ and mayor’s offices, are “business offices,” not public spaces required to be open to gun-holders, she said.

    Did you get that? City Hall has “public spaces” and “business offices” and never the twain shall meet. Somebody should remind the mayoral douchebaguette that the whole damn building is owned and paid for by the People and that she, as Mayor, owns exactly sh!t.

    As if we don’t have enough problems with Imperial Presidents, we also have to put up with Imperial Mayors. It’s almost enough to make me upset.

  4. Not that I want to see dear Claudia get in trouble, but I posted this over on the WPB Post Blog just to make her day and perhaps encourage the good citizens of WPB to have a little fun filing a complaint:

    Dirk Diggler Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 10:20 am
    City Attorney Claudia McKenna appears to not only be giving the Mayor and the Commission poor legal advice, but since she is a government official as well, she appears to be volunteering to pony up $5,000 per offense for her poor legal interpretation come Monday morning on Oct. 3rd. The statute is clear that the ban on weapons applies to the specific room within which a meeting is being held, not the floor or some commissioner’s office. I suggest that numerous concealed weapons holders show up at city hall to force the issue, be denied access to non-meeting rooms and then file their lawsuits. I am sure the citizens of WPB would be more than glad to pay to defend these lawsuits . . . oh wait, that’s right, they can’t. The law does not allow the city to indemnify them for violating the statute! That’s right Mayor – you and Claudia better take out 2nd mortgages on your homes. You are gonna be paying this OUT OF POCKET !!!!!

    Dirk Diggler Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 10:45 am
    and for added fun, I might suggest that City Attorney Claudia McKenna, since she is part of the conspiracy to violate state law, may be in violation of State of Florida bar rules. Yes, Claudia, someone just may file a complaint with the State Bar for giggles to watch you squirm as to why you, as an officer of the court, are helping public officials brazenly violate the law. Enjoy your weekend.

  5. reading thru the WPB ordinance, it would appear both the mayor and her Hitler-youth city attorney are violating the Ethics Ordinance because they are intentionally violating state law. I think an ethics complaint needs to be filed against them for the record.

  6. Lands sakes alive!!!! We are DOOMED!!! The blood will flow in the streets like it does in NYC,Chi,Phili etal. Life as we know it is over…Oh the HUMANITY!!!!!!!!

  7. Perhaps you have all heard about the mayor of Ruidoso NM, basically a summer and winter resort town, who banned guns in all village owned buildings. The armed taxpayers (including Larry Pratt via airlines) showed up for the council meeting. The council voted this last Tuesday to overturn the mayor’s edict, which clearly violated NM State preemption law. He had said that if the council voted against he would step down. He didn’t consider his seat in front of the citizens a safe place to be. So far he has not resigned as far as I know. For some reason a lot of mayors, who used to be merely figureheads anyway, have somehow gathered a bunch of power and consider themselves the arbiters of all that is good and SAFE. This mayor said it is his job to keep the town employees SAFE. But the employees CANNOT CARRY. Stay tuned.

  8. Reminds me of my challenges to Toledo, Clyde, and Arcanum, Ohio in 2004 & 2005 when these cities enacted illegal bans on CCW in areas where it is/was legal under state law. Both the Toledo and Arcanum city/village idiots/attorneys made virtually the same statements “……I’ve been practicing law for X number of years; who are you to tell me about the LAW?…..”

    My response to both was “well, sir, I guess I made the mistake of assuming that with all of these years of practice, maybe someday you’d GET IT RIGHT.” You want to talk about 2 individuals that got that “I just peed in their coffee cup and topped it off with whipped cream and a cherry” look. Priceless. And, confirmed to onlookers just what type of arrogant asses the taxpayers were paying for.

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