City and county governments in Florida are scrambling to rewrite local laws to comply with a new state gun law, reports the St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg is getting ready to repeal its ordinance against discharging firearms in the city limits. Brooksville killed a ban on guns in parks and also deleted a law that could have suspended the sale of ammunition and firearms during emergencies. There are many more.
All those ordinances have been illegal for years because state law prevents cities and counties from regulating guns. But a new law, set to take effect Oct. 1, takes it a step further. It allows judgments of up to $100,000 against local governments that enforce such laws. And, in an unusual move, the law also says local officials could be fired and fined $5,000, with no representation from the city or county attorney. St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon said, “I think they went overboard.” State Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, who sponsored the law, said “There’s been plenty of hand-wringing and bed-wetting from local government.”