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2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Field of regulation of firearms and ammunition preempted.
Field of regulation of firearms and ammunition preempted.
790.33 Field of regulation of firearms and ammunition preempted.—
(1) PREEMPTION.—Except as expressly provided by the State Constitution or general law, the Legislature hereby declares that it is occupying the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all existing and future county, city, town, or municipal ordinances or any administrative regulations or rules adopted by local or state government relating thereto. Any such existing ordinances, rules, or regulations are hereby declared null and void.
(2) POLICY AND INTENT.—
(a) It is the intent of this section to provide uniform firearms laws in the state; to declare all ordinances and regulations null and void which have been enacted by any jurisdictions other than state and federal, which regulate firearms, ammunition, or components thereof; to prohibit the enactment of any future ordinances or regulations relating to firearms, ammunition, or components thereof unless specifically authorized by this section or general law; and to require local jurisdictions to enforce state firearms laws.
(b) It is further the intent of this section to deter and prevent the violation of this section and the violation of rights protected under the constitution and laws of this state related to firearms, ammunition, or components thereof, by the abuse of official authority that occurs when enactments are passed in violation of state law or under color of local or state authority.
(3) PROHIBITIONS; PENALTIES.—
(a) Any person, county, agency, municipality, district, or other entity that violates the Legislature’s occupation of the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, as declared in subsection (1), by enacting or causing to be enforced any local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation impinging upon such exclusive occupation of the field shall be liable as set forth herein.
(b) If any county, city, town, or other local government violates this section, the court shall declare the improper ordinance, regulation, or rule invalid and issue a permanent injunction against the local government prohibiting it from enforcing such ordinance, regulation, or rule. It is no defense that in enacting the ordinance, regulation, or rule the local government was acting in good faith or upon advice of counsel.
(c) If the court determines that a violation was knowing and willful, the court shall assess a civil fine of up to $5,000 against the elected or appointed local government official or officials or administrative agency head under whose jurisdiction the violation occurred.
(d) Except as required by applicable law, public funds may not be used to defend or reimburse the unlawful conduct of any person found to have knowingly and willfully violated this section.
(e) A knowing and willful violation of any provision of this section by a person acting in an official capacity for any entity enacting or causing to be enforced a local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation prohibited under paragraph (a) or otherwise under color of law shall be cause for termination of employment or contract or removal from office by the Governor.
(f)1. A person or an organization whose membership is adversely affected by any ordinance, regulation, measure, directive, rule, enactment, order, or policy, whether written or unwritten, promulgated or caused to be enforced in violation of this section may file suit against any county, agency, municipality, district, or other entity in any court of this state having jurisdiction over any defendant to the suit for declaratory and injunctive relief and for actual damages, as limited herein, caused by the violation. A court shall award the prevailing plaintiff in any such suit:
a. Reasonable attorney fees and costs in accordance with the laws of this state, including a contingency fee multiplier, as authorized by law; and
b. The actual damages incurred, but not more than $100,000.
2. If after the filing of a complaint a defendant voluntarily changes the ordinance, regulation, measure, directive, rule, enactment, order, or policy, written or unwritten, promulgated or caused to be enforced in violation of this section, with or without court action, the plaintiff is considered a prevailing plaintiff for purposes of this section.
Interest on the sums awarded pursuant to this subsection shall accrue at the legal rate from the date on which suit was filed.
(4) EXCEPTIONS.—This section does not prohibit:
(a) Zoning ordinances that encompass firearms businesses along with other businesses, except that zoning ordinances that are designed for the purpose of restricting or prohibiting the sale, purchase, transfer, or manufacture of firearms or ammunition as a method of regulating firearms or ammunition are in conflict with this subsection and are prohibited;
(b) A duly organized law enforcement agency from enacting and enforcing regulations pertaining to firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories issued to or used by peace officers in the course of their official duties;
(c) Except as provided in s. 790.251, any entity subject to the prohibitions of this section from regulating or prohibiting the carrying of firearms and ammunition by an employee of the entity during and in the course of the employee’s official duties;
(d) A court or administrative law judge from hearing and resolving any case or controversy or issuing any opinion or order on a matter within the jurisdiction of that court or judge; or
(e) The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission from regulating the use of firearms or ammunition as a method of taking wildlife and regulating the shooting ranges managed by the commission.
(5) SHORT TITLE.—As created by chapter 87-23, Laws of Florida, this section may be cited as the “Joe Carlucci Uniform Firearms Act.”
History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, ch. 87-23; s. 5, ch. 88-183; s. 1, ch. 2011-109; s. 1, ch. 2021-15.