A trio of cities in Broward County has united with a gun control group in a lawsuit challenging state preemption law.
The cities — Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, and Pembroke Pines — filed suit in Circuit Court on Monday naming a host of state and local officials to include Florida Gov. Rick Scott as defendants.
The legal challenge, coordinated by Everytown for Gun Safety’s Litigation Team, argues a number of points against current state law that penalizes city leaders who would enact local ordinances regulating guns. Each of the three municipalities wants to pass bans on the sale and transfer of most magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds in their city limits and say they can’t due to fear of Florida’s preemption statutes.
“Because our state legislators have shown little respect for the home rule powers of the people and the Constitution, we have had to ask our judicial branch to tell us what is appropriate when dealing with municipal powers,” said Coral Springs Mayor Skip Campbell.
In the aftermath of the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in nearby Parkland, Coral Springs commissioners sought to enact a local ban on guns deemed to be “assault weapons” but backed down over the prospect of heavy fines from the state and removal from office by the governor. This, Everytown holds, leaves cities who want tougher gun laws short.
“Local elected officials should not be threatened with severe penalties for passing public safety measures, and we welcome the opportunity to represent these cities and public servants taking a stand to protect their communities,” said Eric Tirschwell, an Everytown spokesman.
The lawsuit is the second challenging Tallahassee filed in recent weeks. In March, 10 Miami-area cities banded together to argue the state’s preemption law unconstitutionally prohibits local governments from enacting their own gun restrictions and are seeking to defang the longstanding measure. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced this week he intends to become the 11th city in that suit.