Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
WESTON (CBSMiami) – A news conference was held in Weston regarding a 45-page lawsuit filed on behalf of 10 South Florida cities and 31 elected officials.
The lawsuit challenges a 2011 Florida law that penalizes elected officials who try to enact gun rules and regulations in their community.
“The penalties for violating the statute are first a penalty of up to $5,000 against the individual elected official. Second the removal from office by the Governor and third unlimited lawsuits by any interested person,” said lead lawsuit attorney Jamie Alan Cole.
The defendants who were named in the lawsuit were Florida Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and four other high ranking sate officials who have regulatory enforcement authority in connection to firearms.
“We invite every elected official from every city in all 67 counties in the state to join hands with us in this challenge,” said city of Weston Mayor Daniel Stermer.
Weston was the first city to authorize the lawsuit and then asked other cities to join.
The City of Miramar, City of Pompano Beach, Village of Pinecrest, City of South Miami, City of Miami Gardens, City of Coral Gables, City of Miami Beach, Town of Cutler Bay and City of Lauderhill joined the City of Weston in the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs claim the law creates a one size fits all system where rules are the same no matter where you are in the state. “In an urban area like Downtown Miami the situation is different from a suburban area like here in the City of Weston or somewhere that could be rural or agricultural,” said Cole.
After the mass shooting in Parkland, elected officials say residents began reaching out to ask them to take action in their communities but because of the Florida law, they say their hands are tied.
“We are a city that holds major events,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “People from all over the world come to visit but we cannot pass a single piece of legislation that might make people safer.”
CBS4 News reached out the Governor’s office for comment but have not heard back.
The plaintiffs are asking for expedited consideration, they say, because of the public importance in moving forward with the case.