Weston to File Lawsuit Over State Statute Blocking Local Government Firearm Regulation

Weston has invited other cities to join the lawsuit

What to Know

  • Weston's resolution follows the Parkland school tragedy in which 17 people were killed.
  • The school also voted to urge the school board for funding to deploy three additional school resource officers.
  • A state statute essentially declares any local law regulating firearms or ammunition null and void.

Weston's City Commission on Monday voted to authorize its city attorney to file a lawsuit over a Florida statute that would punish elected officials if they enacted firearms and ammunition regulation.

The decision by the Weston City Commission comes after the Parkland school shooting tragedy in which 17 people, mostly teenagers, were shot dead by a gunman.

The resolution authorizes and directs the attorney to "file a lawsuit seeking a declaration that the provisions punishing elected officials set for in Section 790.33, Florida Statutes, for violating the preemption related to the regulation of firearms and ammunition are invalid."

As the statute dictates, local politicians who enact and enforce firearms or ammunitions regulations face punishment, which as removal from office. Weston's resolution invites other local governments to join the lawsuit.

The Preemption of Section 790.33 declares that unless firearms or ammunition regulation is passed through Florida's Constitution or through its legislature, all other laws, such as those passed by city governments, are "hereby declared null and void."

Weston's mayor said filing the lawsuit is the only way forward unless Florida's legislature changes the law.

"Absent the legislature changing it, which we don't expect it to happen, the only way to do it is through a declaratory judgment action, which is a lawsuit filed challenging the constitutionality of the provisions," the mayor said.

Weston officials also unanimously agreed on a resolution calling on the Florida Gov. Rick Scott, President Donald Trump and federal government to reduce gun violence, require background checks for every firearm sale, and support legislation that would keep military-style weapons away from schools.

Earlier in the meeting, the commission also voted to urge the Broward County School Board for funding for an additional three school resource officers in Weston.

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