Opening Arguments Begin in Gun Control Lawsuit

Opening Arguments Begin in Gun Control Lawsuit
Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 13:58:52-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Florida's First District Court of Appeal heard arguments Tuesday morning in a case about local-government gun ordinances.

A 2011 Florida law prohibits local governments from passing any gun control measures, and leaves the issue entirely up to the legislature.

Under the preemption law, local officials could be personally held liable for going against the legislature's wishes.

"If a law like this is able to stand, it allows for the state legislature to penalize personally elected officials who are dually elected by the citizens in their community over a policy difference," said Mayor Andrew Gillum.

The City of Tallahassee has ordinances in place from 1957 and 1988 which prohibit someone from shooting a gun in a park.

To date, the city has refused to repeal the gun ban.

Attorney Eric Friday represents the group Florida Carry, which sued the City of Tallahassee in 2014 over what they call illegal gun laws within the city limits.

"These officials swore an oath, and took a job, to follow the laws of the state of Florida. They have chosen not to do so," said Friday. "They have stated here that they want to continue to regulate firearms, whether the legislature tells them they can or cannot."

Under state law, local officials could be subject to a $5,000 fine and removal from office if the gun preemption law is violated. In addition to Mayor Gillum, Tallahassee's former mayor and two other city commissioners were also named in the lawsuit.

There is no specific timetable for the First DCA to make their decision.