Local gun bans falling under Florida law

Aug. 2, 2011 at 4:31 PM
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MIAMI, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Florida towns have begun taking down signs banning guns in parks and public buildings to comply with a new state law.

Under a bill passed by the Florida Legislature that takes effect Oct. 1, all counties and municipalities must repeal ordinances limiting guns, under penalty of fines of up to $5,000 for officials, and gun owners can sue for damages if they think their rights have been abridged.

Now only the Legislature can curb concealed weapons. Guns still are banned in schools or bars but may be brought into government buildings when a meeting is not progress. Private businesses can decide whether to allow guns.

"You're not going to have every Tom, Dick and Harry carrying a firearm on their person up and down the streets and into buildings because it's a felony" without a license to carry a concealed weapon, National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer told The Miami Herald. "Only close to a million people in the state are licensed to carry concealed [guns]."

Aaron Campbell, vice mayor of Miami Gardens, where last week two people were shot dead while filling up at a gas station, said: "This probably passed because of someone from the NRA, someone who doesn't care about urban conditions. It's sad that a piece of legislation can pass like this."

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