Florida Senate - 2014                                     SB 458
       By Senator Altman
       16-00607-14                                            2014458__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the regulation of knives and
    3         weapons; creating s. 790.332, F.S.; providing a short
    4         title; providing legislative intent to preempt the
    5         regulation of knives and weapons to the Legislature;
    6         providing definitions; prohibiting state agencies and
    7         political subdivisions from regulating knives and
    8         weapons; providing that certain rules or ordinances of
    9         a state agency or political subdivision regulating
   10         knives or weapons are void; requiring the repeal of
   11         rules and ordinances regulating knives or weapons by a
   12         specified date; authorizing civil actions against a
   13         state agency or political subdivision that enacts or
   14         fails to repeal a prohibited rule or ordinance;
   15         providing that certain elected or appointed officials
   16         are liable for damages and attorney fees as the result
   17         of violations of the act; providing for the
   18         termination of employment or removal from office of a
   19         person in violation of the act; authorizing
   20         enforcement by an organization whose members are
   21         adversely affected by the act; providing a directive
   22         to the Division of Law Revision and Information;
   23         providing an effective date.
   25  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   27         Section 1. Section 790.332, Florida Statutes, is created to
   28  read:
   29         790.332Regulation of knives and weapons; preemption to the
   30  state.
   31         (1)SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Uniform
   32  Knife and Weapons Act.”
   33         (2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.—It is the intent of the Legislature
   34  to occupy the field of regulation of knives, common
   35  pocketknives, and weapons. It is the further intent of the
   36  Legislature to provide uniformity of laws by prohibiting state
   37  agencies and political subdivisions from enacting rules or
   38  ordinances on the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, and
   39  use of knives and weapons. It is the further intent of the
   40  Legislature to:
   41         (a) Require the enforcement of uniform state laws;
   42         (b)Mandate the repeal of rules and ordinances prohibited
   43  by the section;
   44         (c) Impose penalties for enacting or failing to repeal
   45  rules or ordinances that conflict with this section;
   46         (d) Render void any rules and ordinances in effect on the
   47  effective date of this act and prohibit the future enactment of
   48  rules and ordinances relating to knives, common pocketknives,
   49  and weapons by any entity other than the Legislature; and
   50         (e) Compel government officials and governmental entities
   51  to obey the uniform laws of the state and to constrain the
   52  proliferation of rules and ordinances.
   53         (3) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   54         (a) “Common pocketknife” means a knife that can be carried
   55  in a pocket, purse, handbag, backpack, briefcase, sheath, or
   56  similar container.
   57         (b) “Knife” means a cutting instrument that has a sharpened
   58  or pointed blade, including a sheath knife commonly used for
   59  fishing, hunting, outdoor recreation, or work activities.
   60         (c) “Political subdivision” has the same meaning as
   61  provided in s. 1.01.
   62         (d) “State agency” means a separate agency or unit of state
   63  government created or established by law and includes, but is
   64  not limited to, the following and their respective officers: an
   65  authority, board, branch, bureau, commission, department,
   66  division, institution, office, or public corporation, except any
   67  such agency or unit within the legislative branch of state
   68  government other than the Florida Public Service Commission.
   69         (e) “Weapon” has the same meaning as provided in s.
   70  790.001(13).
   71         (4)PROHIBITIONS.—
   72         (a)A state agency or political subdivision may not enact a
   73  rule, ordinance, or tax relating to knives, knife-making
   74  components, common pocketknives, or weapons, including, but not
   75  limited to, the use, transportation, possession, carrying, sale,
   76  transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, or registration of
   77  such knives or weapons.
   78         (b)A state agency or political subdivision may not enact a
   79  rule or an ordinance that relates to the manufacture of a knife,
   80  common pocketknife, or weapon.
   81         (c)A rule or ordinance by a state agency or political
   82  subdivision which relates to knives, common pocketknives, or
   83  weapons is void on the effective date of this act and must be
   84  repealed by the state agency or political subdivision by July 1,
   85  2014.
   86         (5)PENALTIES.
   87         (a) A state agency or political subdivision that violates
   88  this section by enacting or causing to be enforced a rule or
   89  ordinance, or failing to repeal a rule or ordinance, is liable
   90  as provided in this subsection. If a state agency or political
   91  subdivision violates this section, the court shall:
   92         1. Declare the rule or ordinance invalid;
   93         2. Issue a permanent injunction against the state agency or
   94  political subdivision prohibiting it from enforcing the rule or
   95  ordinance; and
   96         3. Order the repeal of the rule or ordinance.
   98  It is not a defense that in enacting or failing to repeal the
   99  rule or ordinance the state agency or political subdivision was
  100  acting in good faith or upon advice of counsel.
  101         (b)If the court determines that a violation was knowing
  102  and willful, the court shall assess the greater of statutory
  103  damages of $5,000 or actual damages of up to $100,000 against
  104  the elected or appointed political subdivision official or state
  105  agency head under whose jurisdiction the violation occurred.
  106         (c)Except as otherwise required by law, public funds may
  107  not be used to defend or reimburse an individual found to have
  108  knowingly and willfully violated this section.
  109         (d)A knowing and willful violation of this section by an
  110  individual acting in an official capacity for a state agency or
  111  political subdivision or otherwise acting under color of law by
  112  enacting or causing to be enforced an ordinance or
  113  administrative rule prohibited under this section is grounds for
  114  termination of employment or similar contract or removal from
  115  office by the Governor.
  116         (e)An individual or organization whose membership is
  117  adversely affected by a rule or ordinance, measure, directive,
  118  enactment, order, or policy adopted or caused to be enforced in
  119  violation of this section may file suit against the state agency
  120  or political subdivision for declaratory and injunctive relief
  121  and for actual damages, as limited by this subsection, caused by
  122  the violation. A court shall award the prevailing plaintiff in
  123  any such suit:
  124         1.Reasonable attorney fees and costs, including a
  125  contingency fee multiplier, as authorized by law; and
  126         2.The actual damages incurred, up to $100,000.
  128  Interest on the sums awarded pursuant to this subsection accrue
  129  at the rate established pursuant to s. 55.03 from the date on
  130  which the suit was filed.
  131         Section 2. The Division of Law Revision and Information is
  132  directed to replace the phrase “the effective date of this act”
  133  wherever it occurs in this act with the date this act becomes a
  134  law.
  135         Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.