In 2011 the Florida Legislature passed a bill that was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott that penalized local governments and elected officials that tried to pass gun safety rules that are stricter than state law. But ten south Florida cities are challenging that “preemption” law. And now, gun safety advocates like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are asking the Sarasota City Commission to take a stand for stronger gun safety.
Carol Hartz is the gun safety chair of the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County, another group that’s pushing the city to take action on gun violence.
“What we asked for is for the city commission to pass what’s called an ‘advisory resolution’ stating that they support a ban on semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines within the Sarasota city limits.”
Was there something about background checks, as well, that you were asking for?
“Actually, that is one of the League of Women Voters’ goals within gun safety. I personally did not bring it up at the meeting Monday night because the Brady Campaign did bring that up and I wanted to focus on semi-automatic weapons. But like the Brady Campaign, we support comprehensive universal background checks.”
“We’re not asking the city council to do anything against the law or that would put them in personal jeopardy. Actually, we would like the city council to check with their attorney. And I had written an email to the attorney earlier this month asking him to give the city council advice. But, what we’re asking for is an advisory resolution. Which — I’m no lawyer — but in my understanding says, ‘Here’s our opinion, we wanted to give you our advice.’ And as a non-lawyer, my understanding is that’s within the law and for the city’s attorney to check to protect the city council.”
Here’s a link to an article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.