Whether or not residents think that guns belong in Florida parks and public buildings, a bill approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott says they do.
Under a new law that takes effect Oct. 1, all of the state’s cities and counties must repeal local rules limiting gun ownership. Although the state has claimed sole right to regulate firearms since 1987, this year’s new law adds fines for local officials who fail to comply, and gives gun owners a right to sue for damages if they believe their rights have been violated.
The Sentinel adds: “Local leaders have begun to comply, canceling laws that kept guns out of parks and community buildings, and taking down signs warning visitors not to bring firearms to such places.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, filed the bill, titled “Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition,” that allows the Legislature to control the “whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, and transportation,” and excludes “all existing and future county, city, town, or municipal ordinances or any administrative regulations or rules adopted by local or state government.”
The new law also includes fines and penalties for any person, county, agency, municipality, district or other entity that violates the measure.
The Sentinel continues:
“You’re not going to have every Tom, Dick and Harry carrying a firearm on their person up and down the streets and into buildings because it’s a felony” unless the person has a license to carry a concealed weapon, said longtime National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer. “Only close to a million people in the state are licensed to carry concealed.”