Nikki Fried calls on Florida Supreme Court to take up dispute about local gun laws

Florida guns 2 (Large)
Florida since 1987 has barred cities and counties from passing regulations that are stricter than state firearms laws.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is calling on the Florida Supreme Court to take up a dispute about a 2011 state law that doles out penalties to local government if gun regulations are passed.

“This is a public health crisis. Our communities deserve local safety solutions. Instead, what are we getting out of Tallahassee? Huge fines, removal from office and government overreach from the capital of Tallahassee,” Fried said.

The effort to get a Supreme Court hearing comes after the 1st District Court of Appeal in April upheld the constitutionality of the law after local governments and officials filed three lawsuits challenging the 2011 law. The lawsuits were filed after the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people.

Coral Springs Democratic Rep. Dan Daley also attended the virtual press conference. Daley was a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“To the justices of the Florida Supreme Court: Do it for the 49 victims of the Pulse shooting. Do it for the 17 victims of the shooting at my alma mater, Stoneman Douglas, and do it for the hundreds of men, women and children who are gunned down in the streets across Florida every week,” Daley said.

Florida since 1987 has barred cities and counties from passing regulations that are stricter than state firearms laws, and the penalties in the 2011 law were designed to strengthen that preemption. The law, for example, could lead to local officials facing $5,000 fines and potential removal from office for passing gun regulations.

Attorneys for local governments have contended the threatened penalties infringe on types of immunity that help shield public officials from lawsuits over their decision-making and actions.

“If the Florida Legislature wants to willfully ignore over 70% of Floridians who demand action on gun violence, our local leaders should be permitted to take action,” Daley said.

The local governments and officials did not challenge the underlying 1987 preemption law but contended the penalties in the 2011 law were unconstitutional.

Fred Guttenburg’s 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed in the Parkland school shooting. He spoke about the effects of gun violence at the press conference.

“My daughter Jaime was killed that day, but my son Jesse listened to the bullets as they were killing his sister. Gun violence affects all of our families and our communities in so many different ways,” Guttenburg said.


The News Service of Florida contributed to this post.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown covers state government for Previously, Haley covered the West Virginia Legislature and anchored weekend newscasts for WVVA in Bluefield, W.Va. Haley is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida. You can reach her at [email protected].


  • Tom Palmer

    July 7, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Be careful what you wish for. The decision could but both ways.

  • Ron Ogden

    July 7, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Democrataic gamesmanship. Why, you ask, should local governments not be free to pass stricter gun regulations? Because carrying a gun on one’s person is similar to wearing a piece of clothing, and if local rules vary then people traveling from one community to another stand at risk of inadvertently committing a crime by not knowing the rule in that community. If I live in city A, where state rules apply and I am traveling to C where state rules apply but passing through B, which has stricter rules, then I am guilty of a crime merely by passing through B while carrying my gun. Chaos. Of course, that is the goal that the Democrats seek. Chaos, they believe, will lead to voters endorsing stricter rules again guns, and stricter rules against my Constitutional freedom to carry a gun is their only goal.

  • Robert Himschoot

    July 8, 2021 at 8:42 am

    To infringe on the Constitutional rights is pure hypocrisy. I am a firm believer in punishing the evil ones, regardless of their upbringing. Punish the bad guys, not the law abiding citizens. Get swift justice to the criminals and quit coddling them with all the social, psychological BS….. If they do the crime…they should pay the price…..Quick justice.

  • Arthro

    July 8, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Nikki wants to take your guns and leave you defenseless and turn Florida’s big cities into Chicago or New York. No thanks, Nikki.

  • jim

    July 8, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    too many week minded people focus on what “guns” are doing for gun violence.
    Gun Violence without ‘guns’ is still violence.
    gun violence without ‘violence’ is just a pile of complicated paperweights.
    let the people have their rights. lets instead focus on the systemic failures in the system that lead people into the types of desperate acts that cause all violent crime.

  • Tom Palmer

    July 8, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    The law has hampered local officials’ being able to respond to complaints about backyard shooting ranges near residential areas. As far as banning sales, that has about as much effect as liquor laws. You just drive to the next jurisdiction and buy what you want when you want.

    • Phil Murphy

      July 9, 2021 at 8:31 am

      oh no! complaints.

      • Tom Palmer

        July 9, 2021 at 5:58 pm

        if was in your neighborhood…..

Comments are closed.


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