Broward County

Three more South Florida cities sue Gov. Scott over ban on local gun laws

Jamie Cole, city attorney for Weston, addresses reporters during a City Hall press conference on Monday, April 2, 2018, about a lawsuit filed by 10 South Florida cities against Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials over a 2011 state law that established stiff penalties for enacting municipal gun regulations. Waiting their turns to speak, from left to right, are five named plaintiffs in the litigation: Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli, Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam and Weston Mayor Daniel Stermer.
Jamie Cole, city attorney for Weston, addresses reporters during a City Hall press conference on Monday, April 2, 2018, about a lawsuit filed by 10 South Florida cities against Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials over a 2011 state law that established stiff penalties for enacting municipal gun regulations. Waiting their turns to speak, from left to right, are five named plaintiffs in the litigation: Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli, Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam and Weston Mayor Daniel Stermer. dhanks@miamiherald.com

Three more South Florida cities have sued the state over Florida's law that prohibits local municipalities from enacting their own gun measures.

Coral Springs, Coconut Creek and Pembroke Pines filed suit Tuesday to argue that the 2011 state law prohibiting cities from adopting gun control laws violates the state and federal constitutions, the Associated Press reported.

In recent weeks, 10 South Florida cities have sued Gov. Rick Scott, who signed the NRA-backed bill into law, so they can enact local gun regulations. The three Broward cities that filed suit Tuesday join those 10 municipalities: Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Pinecrest and South Miami in Miami-Dade, and Lauderhill, Miramar, Pompano Beach, and Weston in Broward.

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The way the state law reads now, a municipality is prohibited from enacting local laws pertaining to gun control. Local elected officials who defy the state could face a $5,000 fine and removal from office if he or she tries to enact any sort of municipal gun regulation. In addition, municipalities that thwart Florida's law can be forced to pay a $100,000 fine plus legal fees.

City leaders have said it's their responsibility to make sure their residents are safe from gun violence.

The lawsuits have come in the wake of the Parkland massacre in which 17 students and educators were slain at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 by a former student who wielded a semiautomatic AR-15 assault-style rifle.

Coral Springs and Coconut Creek funnel many students into Stoneman Douglas.

According to the AP, the governor’s office says the lawsuit is being reviewed.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.

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