Broward County

Another South Florida city files suit against the state over enacting local gun laws

More than a dozen South Florida cities have filed suit against the state over its gun laws that can punish a municipality for enacting gun laws. The latest to join the suit, on April 25, 2018, is Wilton Manors. This file photo from April 14, 2018, is from a gun-rights rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The rally was within weeks after hundreds of thousands marched in Washington, New York and South Florida  to demand tougher gun laws after the Feb. 14, 2018, school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17.
More than a dozen South Florida cities have filed suit against the state over its gun laws that can punish a municipality for enacting gun laws. The latest to join the suit, on April 25, 2018, is Wilton Manors. This file photo from April 14, 2018, is from a gun-rights rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The rally was within weeks after hundreds of thousands marched in Washington, New York and South Florida to demand tougher gun laws after the Feb. 14, 2018, school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17. AP

Wilton Manors has joined three Broward cities that recently challenged a Florida law that prohibits municipalities from enacting local gun laws in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, bringing the number of South Florida cities in the fight against the state to 14.

Wilton Manors joins the Broward cities of Coral Springs, Coconut Creek and Pembroke Pines, which had filed suit earlier this month, to argue that the 2011 state law prohibiting cities from adopting gun control laws violates the state and federal constitutions.

In the last month, 14 South Florida cities have sued Gov. Rick Scott, who signed the NRA-backed bill into law, so they can enact local gun regulations. The other municipalities that have filed suit include: Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Pinecrest and South Miami in Miami-Dade, and Lauderhill, Miramar, Pompano Beach and Weston in Broward.

The current state law says that a municipality is prohibited from enacting local laws pertaining to gun control. Local elected officials who defy the state could face a $5,000 personal 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, especially in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, which left 17 people dead..

In a statement, Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick, a plaintiff in the suit, said: “There is simply no basis to penalize or threaten personally elected officials simply for doing what they believe is in the best interest of their communities. The legislation I have proposed for Wilton Manors may save lives and does not infringe on anyone’s right to own a gun. We need common sense reform of Florida’s gun preemption law.”

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