BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Florida Carry, Inc., today joined forces in a lawsuit against the City of Tallahassee for refusing to change an ordinance restricting the discharge of firearms in defiance of the state preemption statute.
Named as defendants in the case, which was filed in the Second Judicial Circuit Court for Leon County, are Tallahassee 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 Eric J. Friday with Fletcher & Phillips.
“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 and airguns, 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.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms.