Sen. Annette Taddeo and Rep. Dan Daley have introduced legislation to allow municipalities to pass stricter gun regulations by undoing an existing state preemption law.
The two Democrats have stumped for more local control in the past. But those efforts have gone nowhere in the GOP-controlled Legislature and are likely to meet significant resistance again.
“Gun violence is a nationwide problem that requires all hands on deck to solve; restricting local officials from doing their part to combat this effort is dangerous,” Taddeo said Thursday in a written statement backing her and Daley’s proposal.
Current law bars local governments from passing any gun control measures stricter than state law. Those who back the existing state preemption argue conflicting local measures could confuse residents who carry weapons while moving between counties.
But Daley, whose district includes several families affected by the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, argues local officials should have more say.
“Since 2011, local elected officials, those who know their community best, have been prevented from doing what their residents demand,” Daley said. “Gun violence is an epidemic that the entire nation is being subjected to and all levels of government should have a seat at the solution table.”
The gun preemption law dates back to the 1980s. In 2011, the Legislature increased penalties for local officials who approve measures that violate the preemption. That 2011 law subjects officials to fines and even removal from office.
The Florida Supreme Court is set to take up a case challenging those 2011 provisions, though that case would likely not affect the underlying preemption. The bills would repeal the full restrictions, giving local officials full control over the issue.
Older versions of the bill Taddeo and Daley filed have failed to emerge from a single committee in the Republican-controlled Legislature.