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Broward County's Charter Review Commission To Consider Gun Control Amendment

This proposed resolution to the Broward County Charter would let the review commission clear and clean out old and no longer used language.
Caitie Switalski
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

In response to the Parkland shooting that killed 17 people, Broward County’s Charter Review Commission (CRC)  is holding a special meeting to consider proposing gun control amendments for approval by the county voters. 

The meeting is scheduled for Friday,  March 16  at 10 a.m. at the County Governmental Center in Fort Lauderdale. 

State laws prohibit local governments from passing gun legislation, so the decision to submit gun control amendments for approval by Broward voters could be challenged. The Commission already met last month to discuss this issue but it didn't have enough members attending to take any action. The decision to put an amendment on the ballot requires at least 13 votes of the 19 members. 

Broward County’s CRC gets together every 12 years to make changes to the county’s charter. Thursday night, it held its third out of four public hearings, in Pembroke Pines. During public comment, people had the opportunity to ask CRC members for changes they’d like to see made at the county level, including gun control. 



Sarah Leonardi is a high school English teacher in Broward, at Nova High School. She came to plead with the commission to create a gun control county charter amendment before it submits its report to the county commission next month.“I became an educator because I believe in service to my community,” Leonardi said, citing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I believe that you involved yourself in local government because you believe in service as well.”

There are eleven proposed amendments and resolutions to the Broward County Charter, and the review commission's Executive Director, Carlos Verney, thinks voters should expect all of them to be on the ballot for the November general election. 

Topics include creating a county affordable housing trust fund, updating public notice guidelines to be at least 48 hours before a public meeting, and changing the redistricting process, among others.

“It could be a crowded ballot, but the state, the county and the city’s staff will do their best - I’m sure they’ll do their best - to educate the voters,” Verney said.

The CRC will hold its final meeting for public hearing in early April. 

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Caitie Switalski is a rising senior at the University of Florida. She's worked for WFSU-FM in Tallahassee as an intern and reporter. When she's in Gainesville for school, Caitie is an anchor and producer for local Morning Edition content at WUFT-FM, as well as a digital editor for the station's website. Her favorite stories are politically driven, about how politicians, laws and policies effect local communities. Once she graduates with a dual degree in Journalism and English,Caitiehopes to make a career continuing to report and produce for NPR stations in the sunshine state. When she's not following what's happening with changing laws, you can catchCaitielounging in local coffee shops, at the beach, or watching Love Actually for the hundredth time.