Letters to the Editor

Florida ties cities’hands on gun laws

By threatening municipal elected officials with removal from office and personal fines, Florida has gone too far in serving the interest of the NRA.

In passing the Joe Carlucci Uniform Firearms Act, state legislators took all power away from municipal officials to regulate firearms in their cities.

The state threatens local commissioners with removal from office, a personal fine and the inability for their city to defend themselves if they write legislation that affects guns.

This intimidating law was passed under the guise of convenience to gun owners.

The concern was that they might be confused when traveling by having different ordinances apply in different cities.

Of course, the real reason is that it’s much cheaper and more efficient for the NRA to lobby one set of officials and pass blanket legislation across the state.

They thought that the threat of removal from office would ensure compliance.

To challenge this law, the city attorney has been authorized to sue the state over this preemption gone wild.

Without violating the Second Amendment, cities should have the ability to decide where zoning would allow for gun retailers and what safety requirements those retailers should provide.

Use of firearms in a rural farming town is completely different than what is acceptable in a dense urban setting.

This weekend, the Ultra music festival is filling the downtown core with thousands of people in a setting that is not dissimilar to the Vegas strip.

High-rise buildings surround the festival forcing extreme measures in security and no guarantee of safety.

Yet nearly anyone can legally purchase a high capacity, semi-automatic, Armalite style rifle and bring it to a hotel or park downtown without violating any ordinance or law. Our hands are tied.

I call on all cities to stand up and challenge this law that was written in the unmistakeable handwriting of the NRA.

Ken Russell, vice chairman, Miami Commission and Democratic candidate for Congress