Tampa, Florida – -(Ammoland.com)- On behalf of Florida Carry’s over 9,000 members and supporters, we applauded the leadership displayed by Governor Rick Scott in his immediate and resolute response rejecting a request from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn that the constitutional rights of Florida’s nearly one-million active concealed carry license holders be suspended under the Governor’s emergency powers.
Last year, the legislature passed a bill adding penalties for local governments who enacted, enforced, or promulgated ordinances in violation of state preemption of the field of firearms and ammunition (F.S. 790.33).
Despite the fact that the preemption statute had declared all such ordinances null and void since 1987, local governments continued to flagrantly and unlawfully maintain and enact ordinances which regulated firearms in their jurisdiction with impunity.
It was this callous disregard for state law which prompted the legislature to act.
In addition to the Federal National Security Zone established by the U.S. Secret Service around the RNC site, the City of Tampa intends to impose its own Baghdad style “Clean Zone”, which would have banned the lawful carry of firearms for self-defense in a wide swath surrounding the convention center, including the entire downtown area and even across the river.
However, city attorneys immediately recognized such a ban would expose the city to the penalties enacted in last year’s bill, which became effective as of October 1, 2011. Not satisfied, the city council authorized Mayor Buckhorn, ironically a gun owner and concealed carry licensee himself, to send a letter to the Governor requesting a temporary reprieve from preemption.
“This is why we have a Second Amendment right to Bear Arms, to prevent governments from trampling the rights of the People.” Said Florida Carry Executive Director Sean Caranna. “It’s unconscionable that the Mayor and City Council of Tampa would call for the imposition of martial law type emergency provisions to suspend a constitutional right in the shadow of the RNC. Our Presidential electoral process doesn’t suspend our people’s rights, it is supposed to defend them!”
Governor Scott’s immediate denial of the request demonstrates his respect for the Constitution, Florida law, the integrity of Florida lawful gun owners statewide. In his response, the Governor stated that “While the government may enforce longstanding prohibitions on the carrying of firearms in sensitive places… an absolute ban on possession in entire neighborhoods and regions would surely violate the 2nd Amendment.” Scott continued, “It is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law.”
Florida Carry thanks Governor Rick Scott for his continued ardent support of the 2nd Amendment, the Florida Constitution, and Florida law. We encourage all local government officials to take note of the governor’s position as guidance with regard to their own local governance.
We warn the City of Tampa that firearms are not the only class of arms recognized under the Second Amendment and Florida law. Florida Statute 790.06(15) also preempts the city from imposing its ban on the otherwise lawful carry of other classes of defensive weapons. We will have zero tolerance for such violations of civil rights and the legislature’s express preemption of firearms and the bearing of concealed defensive weapons.
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Florida Carry, Inc. is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental civil right of all Floridians to keep and bear arms for self defense as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 8 of the Florida Constitution. Florida Carry stands only to represent our members and the over 7 million gun owners of Florida. We are not beholden to any national organization’s agenda that may compromise that mission.
Florida Carry works tirelessly toward striking down ill-conceived gun control laws that have been proven to provide safe havens to criminals and be deadly to law abiding citizens.