Florida’s gun preemption law heads before state Supreme Court

ORLANDO, Fla. — Since 1987, Florida has banned cities and counties from regulating firearms. In 2011, the state went a step further and created financial punishments for any local lawmaker who passes a gun regulation. 

But now that could be changing, with the Florida Supreme Court set to hear a challenge to the 2011 law.


Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, whose office oversees concealed-weapons licenses, joined the challenge to the law in 2019.

In 2021, in their appeal to the state Supreme Court, petitioners wrote, “This appeal presents a fundamental question: whether local elected officials and governments, acting within the scope of their respective authorities, enjoy legislative and governmental function immunity for their actions, precluding them from being subject to punitive measures for those actions. The answer is and should remain yes. Under the Florida Constitution, local elected officials and local governments possess legislative and governmental immunity.”

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Both Florida Carry and the NRA have filed briefs in the case supporting the law, which will be heard on Thursday by the state Supreme Court.

In its brief, attorneys for Florida Carry wrote, “a patchwork of laws serves no purpose, as the Legislature is well equipped to exercise the police power necessary to regulate firearms, within constitutional limitations, throughout the state. Interference from local governments serves no purpose other than to virtue signal to their local voters.”

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