Gun Carry Laws Challenged in Florida

A deadline in Florida for city and county leaders and a warning shot.

Local governments have until October 1 to kick certain gun-carrying laws off the books, laws that block people like Nester Mendez from carrying their guns into public parks and even public buildings.

"Some people will fly off the handle and some people are easily-tempered, as they say, so I can see where it can be a hazard, but, you know, if that's the law, then we should learn to live with it somehow or another," Mendez said.

Local officials can be fined and even removed from office by the governor. Supporters point out, it's not like just anybody can walk around with a gun. Under state law, to carry a gun in public you have to hold a concealed weapon permit anyway.

Caught in the crosshairs of a debate over individual liberty versus public safety, local politicians now may have no choice but to back down on the law, but that doesn't mean the debate won't rage on.

Donna Davis is more than happy to let lawmakers know she's furious about their crackdown on local governments. For her, a walk in the park may soon become anything but.

"There are too many guns around already," she said. "We don't need more, and in a public place like that, I'd like to feel safe if I'm going to the park. If there's a gun there, I don't want to be there."

But Nester says it all comes down to who's holding the gun. Someone who's responsible could actually help improve public safety, and he has one simple message for City Hall.

"You'd better obey the law or you may be put out of office, and rightfully so!"

It's a legal and political showdown, and local governments may have no choice but to holster their laws.

Under the ban passed by lawmakers this spring, local officials can be fined up to $5,000 if they refuse to repeal their gun control laws. That's on top of a possible removal from office.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by gary Location: troy on Aug 9, 2011 at 04:01 PM
    Putting aside all the neat saying, one must realize that we no longer have an open / free society. People are taught, via television shows, news programing, etc, that all guns are bad and that the police will protect them from everything. (false sense of security) In a perfect world no weapons would be needed or required. There is and never will be a perfect world. I can only assume that those who don't want guns in the society are also wanting no vaccines (prevention), civil rights (differnce of opinion), religious persons (differennt thought/beliefs) in their presence. Sometimes uncomfortable is a good thing. Think about it.
  • by Dave Location: Marianna on Aug 8, 2011 at 06:10 AM
    Do you really think that people that obey the law are the ones you have to worry about? Laws only effect honest people!
  • by Ade on Aug 5, 2011 at 06:01 AM
    When Guns are Outlawed Only Criminals Will Have Guns!
  • by rodsmith on Aug 3, 2011 at 10:32 PM
    typical govt stupidity! IF the laws are in fact illegal. Simply state that in the state laws along with a open permission for anyone arrested under what is an illegal law to sue said idiot trying to enforce it!
  • by Jim Location: Daleville on Aug 3, 2011 at 10:01 PM
    What is it about these gun control people that they can't get it through their heads that laws do not deter, they do not stop, criminals from carrying guns and doing harm to innocent people? The more restrictions on law abiding people, the easier it is for criminals to have victims.
  • by Richard Location: Dothan on Aug 3, 2011 at 09:43 PM
    When will these people learn. If you outlaw guns from everyone only the criminals will be armed in public places.
    • reply
      by I. Arlyin on Aug 4, 2011 at 06:40 PM in reply to Richard
      I just want to say that when some body starts a gun fight it is always better for someone eles to have a gun also.If someone would have had a gun when that man was shooting Gabby Gifford maybe there wouldn't have been so many people shot.Every body that carries a gun is not a criminal.
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