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Florida Mayors Can Be Fined $5,000 If They Enact Stricter Local Rules On Gun Control

Jaclyn Corin, 17, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, rallies for stricter gun-control rules at a Feb. 17, 2018, rally in Fort Lauderdale.
Al Diaz
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard may be one of the most liberal mayors in Florida, so he would be a natural candidate to push through a package of local gun-control rules in the wake of the Parkland massacre 50 miles away. But that would be against the law.

Florida bans cities and counties from imposing their own gun-control rules. Seven years ago, the Republican-controlled Legislature even created a $5,000 fine it can impose on mayors like Stoddard if they ever try to enforce stricter regulations on firearms.

“I think it’s outrageous,” said Stoddard, a Democrat recently reelected to a fifth term after championing mandatory solar panels within South Miami and requiring organic fertilizer for city properties. “Why should the cities be prohibited from protecting their citizens?”

Tallahassee lawmakers have created a long list of regulations and laws they’ve ordered off-limits for cities and counties —  from accident clean-ups to Uber. But only gun control carries a package of sanctions that put local officials in personal financial jeopardy. Critics say it also  makes Florida the toughest state in the nation when it comes to policing city and county rules on firearms.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald

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Douglas Hanks
Elizabeth Koh