Broward County, FL Attempts to Sidestep State Law by Instituting “Voluntary” Gun Control Laws

June 5 2014
by GSL Staff
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OK, seriously? Are the anti-gun leaders of Broward County just so hell bent on saying they’re “doing something” about violence that they’re resorting to this nonsense?

In Florida, there is a state law that says that local municipalities cannot pass gun control laws stricter than those passed by the state. This is commonly known as state preemption. However, in Florida, unlike most states, if a local official violates this law they can actually be fined and removed from office.

With that in mind, the folks in Broward County are seeking to institute a form of voluntary gun control among gun and ammo dealers. According to The Sun Sentinel,

The county is considering teaming up with cities and the Broward Sheriff’s Office to tiptoe back into the gun control realm, three years after state law preempted local governments from regulating firearms.

Under consideration is a voluntary program under which gun and ammunition vendors who sell to local law enforcement agencies — and to the public — would be asked to adhere to voluntary “sales and marketing safeguards,” including running background checks on employees, training employees in how to spot a “straw buyer” whose intent is to distribute guns to others, regularly checking inventory to make sure guns aren’t missing and running checks on gun trade-ins to ensure they weren’t stolen.

Returning to gun control could be risky, one county commissioner feared, even though the program would be voluntary. The 2011 state law that removed gun control authority from local governments also threatens local elected officials with fines and removal from office if they violate it. Palm Beach and Broward counties are suing to have that provision declared unconstitutional.

I have to wonder 2 things, 1 – how are these requirements different than the current federal regulations for federal firearms licensees and 2 – what will happen to dealers who currently sell to law enforcement, but refuse to take part in these new “voluntary” regulations. Loss of contracts going forward?

If there is any type of coercion to get people or dealers to adhere to these laws I would hope that would be considered a violation of the state preemption law.

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