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How Red States Stifle Blue Cities

September 27, 2018

The New Republic,

September 26, 2018-
In 2014, years before he became the Democratic nominee for governor of Florida, Andrew Gillum was targeted by two gun-rights organizations, Florida Carry and the Second Amendment Foundation, which threatened to remove him from his post as Tallahassee city commissioner over a pair of local regulations prohibiting residents from shooting firearms in public parks. Despite the fact that these regulations, which were passed in 1957 and 1988, were no longer being enforced, the lobbyists argued that they violated a 2011 state law barring local governments from passing their own gun regulation ordinances.
With the full weight of the National Rifle Association behind them, the gun groups sued the city of Tallahassee. Facing personal fines of $5,000 and damages of up to $100,000 in addition to the threats to remove him from office—all for not officially removing the defunct laws from the books—Gillum defended his city in court. He did so without even the support of Tallahassee’s legal team, which was prevented by the same 2011 state law from supporting local legislators in such cases.