Florida Concealed Carry Preemption Law Takes Fire
Prior to 1987, each county in Florida was responsible for issuing handgun carry permits and making rules under which a resident could carry a firearm. As these local ordinances where generally only recognized or made aware to local residents, it was not uncommon for foreign residents to be charged with violations that were unintentionally broken. To remedy this, the Florida Legislature enacted two provisions in 1987. The first stated the state would be the sole issuer of concealed-carry licenses and secondly, that all county licenses/permits were null and void. Thankfully this made it easier for the residents of Florida with concealed carry permits to understand the laws that governed their great state.
Even though the preemption law is for the better good, there are still those that oppose it. Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence executive director Arthur Hayhoe was featured in a Florida newspaper blasting the law, which in 2011 was given an additional statute that penalized local officials for passing their own gun control ordinances.
It may be unknown to Hayhoe, but the penalties for officials were enacted because local governments still refused to abide by the law after 1987. For about 25 years there were still nearly 300 local governments who acknowledged the law but stood in defiance of it, continuing to maintain local gun ordinances in spite of the state’s law. As a result of the wrongdoings of the local governments, the 2011 amendment to the preemption statute was enacted to add stiff penalties for government entities, local governments and even individual local officials who promulgate, enact or enforce any local rule, regulation or ordinance that regulates firearms and ammunition in violation of pre-emption.
As a result of the preemption statute of 2011, two-thirds of the local governments that had offending ordinances repealed them, making it easier for Florida’s concealed permit holders to abide by the laws of the state.
Preemption Law Makes Sense (H3)
Florida has over one million concealed carry permit holders, making it the most popular program in the country. Because of the preemption law a licensed concealed carry holder no longer has to worry that they may unknowingly enter a gun-free zone and face arrest because they know their license is valid statewide. This law also protects the millions of tourists who visit the state every year, offering reciprocity for concealed carry permits from their home states.
The attempts to reverse preemption by Hayhoe and the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are unlikely; the group does not have a website, only has about 68 members on its social media page, and has no substantial funds for lobbying that would merit any real attention from government representatives.
In the meantime we can all rest-assured that preemption exists and allows law-abiding gun owners to do just that – abide by the law.
To learn more about CCW or to sign up for a Florida concealed weapons class in Citrus County, contact us today.