Major Second Amendment Victory in Florida

Actually, it’s really a victory for the rule of law in general. Florida has a State Preemption law on firearms regulation:


790.33 Field of regulation of firearms and ammunition preempted.—

(1) PREEMPTION.—Except as expressly provided by the State Constitution or general law, the Legislature hereby declares that it is occupying the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all existing and future county, city, town, or municipal ordinances or any administrative regulations or rules adopted by local or state government relating thereto. Any such existing ordinances, rules, or regulations are hereby declared null and void.

Only the Florida State legislature can make laws regulating firearms in any way, except as expressly provided in the rest of the statute. There are only a few narrow exceptions where local governments can enact firearm ordinances, such as local zoning ordinances regulating where gun stores can be located but only if all other retail businesses are subject to the same law and only so long as zoning is not used as a ruse to regulate firearms. Also, police departments can regulate the use of firearms by their officers.

The statute also contains fines to be imposed personally against local officials who violate the state preemption statute. This has not stopped some local governmental bodies from enacting their own laws, however.

In this case a Florida Appeals Court ruled that the university of North Florida cannot ban guns on its campus. State law already bans guns on all college campuses but keeping them in a car is legal and that’w what the case was about. Next should be a move to get the state legislature to repeal the state ban of guns on campus.