Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill into law that bans local governments from implementing their own gun control laws.
DeSantis signed the bill on Friday, but news of its signing broke on Monday. The bill expands on an existing law in the state that restricts local governments from enacting their own gun control regulations.
“The bill, which will take effect July 1, will broaden a 2011 law that can make local governments pay as much as $100,000 in damages if they are sued for imposing gun regulations,” Sun Sentinel reported. “DeSantis signed the bill about a month after a panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal upheld the 2011 law that threatens penalties if cities and counties approve gun regulations.”
An individual or an organization may sue “any county, agency, municipality, district, or other entity in any court” if they have been “adversely affected by any ordinance, regulation, measure, directive, rule, enactment, order, or policy, whether written or unwritten,” the law states. Plantiffs can collect incurred damages of up to $100,000 and interest on the sums awarded “shall accrue at the legal rate from the date on which suit was filed.”
Florida has banned cities and counties from imposing their own gun control laws that are stricter than the state’s laws since 1987.
Rep. Cord Byrd, a Neptune Beach Republican who was the House sponsor of the bill, said that the bill was created to “send a message” to local governments. “I brought this forward so that local governments will once and for all stop violating the rights and stop wasting taxpayer money,” said Byrd, a pro-Second Amendment attorney.
DeSantis has catapulted to the top of the list for 2024 Republican presidential contenders due to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and over the numerous actions that he has taken that run completely against the grain of what the political left is trying to inflict upon the country.
DeSantis has chosen to give bonuses to first responders, sent a strong message to rioters, slammed the Biden administration for not following the science on reopening schools, banned vaccine passports, and is set to ban biological males from being able to complete in girls’ sports.
Jayanta Bhattacharya, professor of medicine at the University of Stanford who also has a PhD in economics, praised DeSantis in a recent interview for the way that he managed the state of Florida’s response to the pandemic.
“I’ve never met a politician that like him. He’s extraordinary,” Bhattacharya said. “We had a two-hour conversation, about COVID policies, this is in September of last year … and he had read all the papers I referenced and not just my just my articles, lots and lots of other papers. He knew all the details, it was a remarkable conversation. And then we had this like roundtable on September 25th, with Martin and Mike Leavitt, and with DeSantis leading it, and the next day he lifted most of the restrictions all across Florida.”
“He could go up against an epidemiologists,” Bhattacharya said. “I mean, most, most epidemiologists don’t know the literature as well as he does. I mean, I just I don’t have the words… I’ve just been, I’m still stunned by it, I didn’t know anything about him actually, before, you know, basically before September really. I’ve just been very impressed.”
Bhattacharya said that Florida’s success during the pandemic was not the result of luck, but was a direct result of DeSantis being so well informed.
“By adopting a policy that’s robust to scientific uncertainty, he’s sort of inoculated himself against the sense being wrong, because he’s, he’s adopted a policy that that will be right over a very broad range of scientific parameters,” Bhattacharya added. “Whereas the lockdown folks, they’re only right for a narrow set of scientific parameters. And those types of errors turned out to be not right. So I think in a sense, he’s not lucky, he actually is smart. And he really got the policy right by delving deep into the science.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.