Updated:LAKE MARY, Fla.,None — Lake Mary City commissioners voted unanimously to repeal the community's gun laws Thursday night, but it was not voluntary.
"The City of Lake Mary has no choice. The state enacted regulation and it was signed by the governor," said Lake Mary Mayor David Mealor.
The statute passed during the most recent legislative session in Tallahassee. So, beginning Oct. 1, it will be illegal for local officials to pass gun regulations different than those at the state level, even if the laws would be tougher.
So Lake Mary's decades-old gun laws were discarded, including the one banning firearms in public parks. Residents had differing opinions about that change.
"I think it's terrible. I have a gun and I wouldn't want them in a park," said Chris Daigle, who lives in Lake Mary.
"I don't see how it's going to increase any kind of a risk to anyone in a public park compared to a city street," Darrell Jarvis, who also lives in Lake Mary, said.
However, the police department is fine with the switch.
"Whatever the law says we have to enforce one way or the other. And if the state mandates that we can or can't do something, then that's the direction that we follow," Officer Zach Hudson of the Lake Mary Police Department told WFTV.
Lake Mary now joins other communities that repealed their gun laws in Central Florida. Penalties are stiff for those who don't comply. Elected officials could be thrown out of office and have to personally pay a $5,000 fine. Still, several counties are expected to challenge the new restrictions in court.