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Orlando Joins Lawsuit Challenging Gun Legislation

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer./ Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer./ Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Orlando has joined a lawsuit over Florida's firearms regulations. Under a 2011 law, local elected officials who try to enact gun regulations can be removed from office and fined up to $5,000.

After the Parkland school shooting 10 South Florida cities sued Gov. Rick Scott and other state leaders, claiming the law is unconstitutional.

Orlando city commissioners voted to join the lawsuit on Monday. Mayor Buddy Dyer said the state has the right to pre-empt cities from legislating in certain areas, "but what they don’t have the right to do is impose penalties on us for acting in our official capacities, and then imposing penalties in a personal way, like removal from office.”

"We're not challenging at this point their ability to pre-empt us from having gun laws, but we are challenging their ability to remove us from office or fine us large sums of money if we act in our official capacities," he said.

He said it was important for Orlando to support the other cities.

"It's something that probably should have been done a while ago," said Dyer.

Scott spokesman McKinley Lewis said in a statement that the governor's office is reviewing the lawsuit.

“Our office is reviewing it, but the Governor’s top priority has always been protecting the safety of our students and communities. That’s why Governor Scott proposed and then signed major legislation that strengths school security and keeps firearms out of the hands of those with mental illness during the last legislative session.”

Orange County is also considering whether to join the lawsuit.