Florida Carry, SAF Sue Broward County And City Of Tallahassee

Florida Carry is joined in a pair of lawsuits against Broward County and the City of Tallahassee by the Second Amendment Foundation. The suits are to force the municipalities to bring their local ordinances into compliance with Florida state law regarding firearms. Florida has statewide preemption but a number of municipalities over the years have tried to evade it.

From Florida Carry:

Florida Carry today filed two lawsuits for blatant violations of Florida’s law that preempts local gun control.

Joined by the Second Amendment Foundation, the first case filed is against the City of Tallahassee.

In the second case, Florida Carry filed against Broward County.

“Since 2011, Florida Carry has prompted the repeal of anti-gun ordinances and regulations in over 200 Florida jurisdictions, including municipalities, counties, colleges and state agencies,” noted Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna. “Usually the jurisdiction is responsive to our notification that there is a problem and no lawsuit is necessary. It is a rare and unfortunate circumstance when local government leaders decide to willfully break state law, despite the personal penalties. When local officials are willing to knowingly violate the law in order to suppress the rights of law-abiding gun owners, they can expect that we’re going to make them pay for it.”

Broward County has ignored repeated attempts by Florida Carry to gain its compliance with state law and left us with no choice but to file this case. When local officials refuse to stop breaking the law in order to deny the rights of Floridians, Florida Carry will act to demand that people’s rights be protected. Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry is also named as a defendant in the case. Florida Carry is represented by Miami attorneys Michael T. Davis and Benedict P. Kuehne of The Law Offices of Benedict P. Kuehne, P.A. and Florida Carry General Counsel Eric J. Friday with Fletcher & Phillips of Jacksonville.

Florida Carry, Inc. and the Second Amendment Foundation joined forces in the lawsuit against the City of Tallahassee for refusing to repeal ordinances restricting the use of firearms in defiance of Florida’s firearms preemption law.

“We’re happy to partner with Florida Carry on this legal action,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “This is not the first time we have had to take a city to court for violating a state preemption law. Why municipal governments still don’t understand the concept of preemption is a mystery to us”

“Clearly,” Gottlieb observed, “Tallahassee has way over-stepped its authority under state preemption. The Florida Legislature has exclusive domain over firearms regulation. When the law was passed, it nullified all existing, and future, city and county firearm ordinances and regulations.

“Mayor Marks and his colleagues on the city commission knew all of this,” he added, “but they rejected an opportunity to bring the city into compliance in February. Their stubbornness really left us no choice but to join Florida Carry in this action.”

Named as defendants in the Tallahassee case are Mayor John Marks, and City Commissioners Nancy Miller, Andrew Gillum, and Gil Ziffer. SAF and Florida Carry are represented by Jacksonville attorneys Lesley McKinney with McKinney, Wilkes & Mee, and Florida Carry General Counsel Eric J. Friday with Fletcher & Phillips.

Florida Carry is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental civil right of all Floridians to keep and bear arms for self-defense as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution’s Declaration of Rights.

Florida Carry, Inc. was organized in order to better coordinate activities, effectively lobby the state legislature, and to provide a legal entity capable of filing suit to demand compliance with state and federal law. Florida Carry stands to represent our members, the approximately 8 million gun owners, and countless knife and defensive weapon carriers of Florida.

As an editorial comment, this is the stuff that the Second Amendment Foundation should be doing and not trying to get involved with background check legislation. I’ve made the comment before and I’ll make it again: the NRA-ILA should do legislative stuff which it does so well and the Second Amendment Foundation should do legal stuff which it does so well and neither should get involved in areas in which they are less than excellent.

Florida HB 49 – Threat Of Force Bill

Florida Carry sent out an alert this evening regarding House Bill 49 – Threat of Force. This bill will protect citizens from being threatened with 10-20 year sentences when they use the mere threat of force to protect themselves. Overzealous prosecutors like the utterly despicable State Attorney Angela Corey of Jacksonville have been using an existing law to charge those who display (or brandish) a firearm in self-defense with aggravated assault.

More on this from Florida Carry:

HB 89 meets House floor vote tomorrow! We need your immediate help to ensure it passes!

House Bill 89 – Threat of Force sponsored by Rep. Neil Combee meets the entire House for a floor vote tomorrow, Wednesday, March 19th. The passage of this bill is absolutely crucial to protect law-abiding citizens who use the threat of deadly force in self-defense from being coerced into accepting a plea deal to avoid a lengthy sentence under 10-20-Life.

The 10-20-Life mandatory minimums law was enacted with the sole purpose of toughening punishment of violent criminals who use firearms during the commission of crimes, thus keeping them off the streets for a longer time. Recently however, overzealous prosecutors have figured out they could use the law to threaten people who displayed a firearm in self-defense, by charging them with aggravated assault, conviction on which would be a felony and subject to 10-20-Life.

Some of today’s legislators voted on the 10-20-Life bill, and they say it was NEVER intended to be used in this manner. It has been said that it is legally less dangerous to pull the trigger on an assailant than it is to simply display a firearm to scare them off. HB 89 protects those who display a firearm in self-defense. Please help us put an end to the persecution of law-abiding citizens at the hands of unscrupulous states attorneys and activist judges.

Florida Carry has the email addresses of the entire Florida House of Representatives here. Just cut an paste them into the “To” line of your email program.

They are asking people to send an email encouraging a yes vote on HB 89. To make it more effective, please use your own words and include this in the subject line: Vote yes on HB 89!

Good News From Florida Carry

Gun rights organization Florida Carry filed suit against Eastern Florida State College on Monday, February 3rd, to force them to comply with state law regarding defensive firearms and weapons storage. State law allows firearms to be stored in locked vehicles parked on the campuses of Florida’s public universities, colleges, and community colleges.

On Friday, the college issued a revised policy and will work with Florida Carry to craft lawful policies. Eastern Florida State College is located in Cocoa, Florida and was formerly Brevard Community College. They changed their name in 2013 when they began offering 4-year bachelor’s degrees.

From Florida Carry’s release:

Palm Bay FL – On Monday Florida Carry, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Eastern Florida State College seeking to protect the rights of students, faculty, and the public from the college’s illegal regulations prohibiting defensive firearms and weapons stored in private vehicles. Today Eastern Florida State published a revised policy that brings them in to compliance with state defensive firearms and weapons laws. We are pleased by the college’s response to the case thus far and greatly appreciate their willingness to work with Florida Carry to craft lawful firearms and weapons policies. We hope to reach a final settlement of the case soon.

In December Florida Carry won a similar case against the University of North Florida (UNF). In Florida Carry v. UNF the First District Court of Appeal ruled that “The legislature’s primacy in firearms regulation derives directly from the Florida Constitution… Indeed, the legislature has reserved for itself the whole field of firearms regulation in section 790.33(1)…” No public college or university has any authority to prevent students and the public from having a functional firearm in places that are constitutionally protected or permitted under state law.

Florida law provides for strict penalties against public entities and individuals who violate the rights of gun and defensive weapon owners. Any public entity which attempts to restrict the statutory and fundamental right to keep and bear arms in Florida is subject to enforcement actions by organizations such as Florida Carry.