Florida Carry, Inc.
Fighting for All Floridians Rights to Keep and Bear Arms.
Florida Carry and the Second Amendment Foundation sue the City of Tallahassee, MAIG Mayor Marks, and each city council member that voted to knowingly violate state firearms laws.
Friday, May 02, 2014
For Immediate Release
Tallahassee FL - Florida Carry, Inc. has today filed a lawsuit against the City of Tallahassee and all but one of the city commissioners seeking a permanent injunction to protect the rights of law abiding gun owners from the city’s illegal ordinances prohibiting the use of firearms without even providing an exception for self-defense. Since 1987 the Florida Legislature has preempted firearms law and issued state-wide licenses to carry for self-defense. 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)..."
Subsequent to Florida Carry notifying the City of Tallahassee that its anti-gun ordinances were in violation of state law, and despite recommendations from the city’s own attorney and Police Chief that the illegal ordinances be repealed, Mayor Marks and all but one City Commissioner openly defied state law in order to continue violations of people’s civil rights.
The video of the City Commission meeting is compelling.
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.”
“We became aware of Tallahassee’s illegal regulation as we looked to expand SAF’s on-going preemption project, which has rolled back dozens of illegal gun regulations in the six states we have targeted so far,” added SAF General Counsel Miko Tempski.
“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.”
The lawsuit contends that under the city’s ordinance, which criminalizes the discharge of firearms, there is no provision that carves out an exception for the lawful use of a firearm in self-defense. Gottlieb said there was a chance for an “easy fix” earlier this year, but that motion was tabled.
“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. 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.
Read the Complaint Here
About: Florida Carry, Inc. 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 Article I, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution. Florida Carry, Inc. was organized by a group of Florida self-defense rights activists in order to better coordinate activities, effectively lobby the state legislature, and provide a legal entity capable of filing suit to demand compliance with state and federal law. Florida Carry stands only to represent our members and the over 8 million gun owners of Florida. We are not beholden to any national organization's agenda that may compromise that mission. Florida Carry works tirelessly toward repealing and striking down ill-conceived gun control laws and regulations that have been proven to provide safe havens to criminals and be deadly to law abiding citizens.
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