Starting October 1st, any public official who passes or enforces gun regulations below the state level faces a $5,000 personal fine and could even be removed from office by the governor for enacting or enforcing local gun laws.
While Florida has had a law on its books since 1987 that makes it illegal to pass gun regulations beyond state statutes, there was no enforcement mechanism in place. As a result, towns and cities have created ordinances at will. In the process, many of them have criminalized otherwise completely law-abiding citizens who unintentionally ran afoul of arbitrary, localized gun rules.
But thanks to the law recently signed by Governor Rick Scott, that's all about to change in the Sunshine State.
Called the Penalties for Violating Firearms Preemption Law, the new state forces the repeal of any and all regulations, policies, and ordinances that violate the firearms preemption law of 1987. Its passage has already had an impact as assorted town and county bureaucrats are scrambling to come into compliance by the October 1 deadline. The Orlando Sentinel reported on the changes now underway that:
"Orange County employees have started removing 'no firearms' signs at county parks, and soon they'll probably black out the same words on brochures. In Groveland, leaders recently erased from the books an ordinance that banned firing a gun into the air....in Boca Raton, the "no guns allowed" sign has come down at City Hall. In Lake County, commissioners recently deleted a provision in an ordinance that would have banned firearms on public lands, including its parks."
The new law will make for consistent, state-wide rules for guns, including those with concealed carry permits. It will not affect rules already in place at the state level for firearms, the Orlando Sentinel points out, which include making it illegal to 'fire into buildings, cars, across streets and in public places, except for self-defense.' The new law won't really expand gun rights so much as it will greatly clarify legal firearms possession, transport, and use- eliminating inevitable confusion for law enforcement and citizens alike.
What is certain is this- Governor Rick Scott has sent a clear message that the right to bear arms enshrined in the 2nd amendment to the Constitution is not a parking regulation or a picnic permit to be issued, denied, or changed at the whim of any middling bureaucrat.
On top of that, the 6000% increase in aluminum baseball bat sales in the U.K. this week due to the shocking riots there may have refocused Floridians on their right to protect their persons and property as enshrined in our Bill of Rights, regardless of what any town or country says.