The following is the letter we sent to Broward County this morning. An almost identical letter was sent to the City of Tallahassee. Many more of these will be going out statewide this week as we continue to pursue local government and state agency violators of the Right to Bear Arms.
Florida Carry has been made aware of multiple ordinances enacted by Broward County which continue to be promulgated in violation of Florida Statute §790.33 and/or §790.06(15) and Article I, Section 8(a) of the Florida Constitution. In order to resolve this violation of civil rights in an expedient and cooperative manner, we are contacting you to ascertain the official position of the county on the matter prior to our taking any further action necessary to ensure compliance with the statutory and constitutional preemption of the right to bear arms. We hope that this continued violation constitutional and statutory rights was an oversight and we would like to see an expeditious resolution of this matter.
Recently the Florida First District Court of Appeal ruled, in relevant part:
The legislature’s primacy in [the regulation of arms] derives directly from the Florida Constitution. Article I, Section 8(a), of the Florida Constitution provides:The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.
The phrase “by law” indicates that the regulation of the state right to keep and bear arms is assigned to the legislature and must be enacted by statute. Cf. Grapeland Heights Civic Ass’n v. City of Miami, 267 So. 2d 321, 324 (Fla. 1972) (considering the enactment clause language of article III, section 6, of the Florida Constitution and interpreting the constitutional term “law” in the phrase “authorized by law” to mean an enactment by the legislature not by a city commission or any other political body).
As such, any measure directed at the public regulating the possession or use of a defensive firearm, knife, baton/billie, defensive electronic device, tear/pepper gas or other classes of arms commonly used for self-defense is in violation of the constitutional preemption of the right to bear arms in addition to the possible violation of statutory preemptions in Sec. 790.06 and 790.33, Fla. Stat. We, of course, would prefer to avoid litigation and seek only to gain compliance with state statutes and our constitution.
As a Florida registered non-profit organization representing the interests of defensive weapons and firearms owners who lawfully carry throughout the state, Florida Carry has the necessary standing to initiate legal action on behalf of our membership with regard to this issue should we deem it necessary to insure compliance with state law and the cessation of the violations of fundamental civil rights. Millions of Floridians lawfully carry defensive firearms and weapons every day to protect themselves and their families. We will see to it that they not face a patchwork of regulations that are impossible for them to keep up with as they traverse our great state.
We request a prompt reply to this communication, stating any corrective action which has been, is being, or will be taken to come into complete compliance with Florida Statutes §790.33 & §790.06(15), and the Florida Carry v. UNF ruling on Art. I Sec.8(a) of our Florida Constitution. Delays or failure to respond within 15 days will be viewed as intent to continue to violate the civil and statutory rights of Floridians. In such case, Florida Carry will pursue any necessary recourse, including legal action, to secure compliance. Your earliest response is most appreciated.
Sincerely,Sean CarannaExecutive DirectorFlorida Carry, Inc.FloridaCarry.org