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Andrew Gillum in St. Petersburg: Localities should consider passing illegal gun ordinances

March 14, 2018

Tampa Bay Times,


March 14, 2018-

Andrew Gillum knows certain local gun restrictions are illegal under Florida law. He says communities should consider passing them anyway. His reasoning has less to do with any short-lived policy victory or acquisition of moral high ground — and more to do with a claim that has become central to the Tallahassee mayor’s candidacy for governor. Gillum has taken the National Rifle Association to court, he says. And he’s beaten them.

But it wasn’t quite that simple. Here’s the legal background on the case Gillum likes to tout, and then we’ll circle back to Gillum’s intentionally illegal proposal. In 2011, Florida passed a law that allows the Legislature to impose penalties on local officials who enact more restrictive gun policies than the ones passed by state lawmakers. Six years later, Florida Carry and the Second Amendment Foundation — two gun rights groups — sued the City of Tallahassee under that law for a decades-old ordinance that made it illegal to shoot guns in city parks. (The National Rifle Association filed an amicus brief in support of the gun groups in the case, Florida Carry, Inc. v. City of Tallahassee.)

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