Florida Carry, Inc. recently won a lawsuit against Broward County and County Administrator Bertha Henry.
The pro-gun organization pursued a permanent injunction to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners from the county’s multiple illegal ordinances that infringe on gun rights.
“Broward County has ignored repeated attempts since 2011 by Florida Carry to gain its compliance with state law and left us with no choice but to file this case,” proclaimed Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna. “Let this case serve as proof that when local officials refuse to stop breaking the law in order to deny the rights of Floridians, Florida Carry will act to demand that people’s rights be protected.”
Ever since 1987, the Florida Legislature has preempted local firearms law and has issued statewide licenses to carry.
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Florida Carry has urged over 200 Florida jurisdictions, which include municipalities, counties, colleges, and state agencies, to repeal anti-gun ordinances and regulations.
“Usually the jurisdiction is responsive to our notification that there is a problem and no lawsuit is necessary,” said Caranna. “Unfortunately, that was not the case with Broward County.”
Judge Carlos Rodriguez granted Florida Carry’s request for summary judgment in his ruling. The ruling permanently barred Broward County from enforcing its illegal gun control ordinances. Furthermore, Florida Carry received reimbursement for legal fees.
In 2011, Florida Carry won a similar case against the University of North Florida (UNF). In Florida Carry v. UNF, the First District Court of Appeal ruled that “The legislature’s primacy in firearms regulation derives directly from the Florida Constitution… Indeed, the legislature has reserved for itself the whole field of firearms regulation in section 790.33(1)…”
It is a rare and unfortunate circumstance when local government leaders decide to willfully break state law, despite the personal penalties. When local officials are willing to knowingly violate the law in order to suppress the rights of law-abiding gun owners, they can expect that we’re going to make them pay for it.
It’s victories like these that show why grassroots gun rights supporters should be active locally.
With the right amount of dedication and pressure, bad policy can be overturned at the local level.