BELLEVUE, WA – Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and Florida Carry have asked a circuit court judge to assess fines of $5,000 against city officials in Tallahassee for failing to repeal local gun control ordinances that conflict with state law, the latest chapter in a legal action filed by the two organizations against the city in May of last year.
The groups are asking for fines to be levied against Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Mayor John Marks and city commissioners Nancy Miller and Gil Ziffer. Gillum formerly served as a city commissioner and succeeded Marks as mayor.
At issue is the city’s failure to repeal ordinances prohibiting the discharge of firearms in urban spaces and public parks that date back to 1988 and 1957. Those ordinances, while not being actively enforced for many years, are still being published in the city codes. The city police chief had recommended that the ordinances be repealed.
“When public officials essentially ignore their responsibility to comply with the law,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb observed, “then they should be penalized in a way that gets their attention. A hefty fine that they can’t pass on to the taxpayers is a good way to make that happen.
“What is truly annoying about this case is that the defendants have had ample opportunities to fix the problem, and they simply haven’t done it,” he continued. “That’s not carelessness, it’s deliberate. I was amused to read that one of the city’s attorneys is concerned that this case could open the door to penalizing officials across the state. I’m not sure that’s such a bad message to send.
“Public officials must be held accountable, not only for their actions, but in cases like this where they deliberately fail to act,” Gottlieb concluded. “People who make the law can’t be allowed to break the law or simply ignore it because they think they are above the law. A stiff fine will serve as a wake-up call, not only to officials in Tallahassee, but across the map.”