Sarasota LWV Gun Safety Committee Update

The Gun Safety Committee of the Sarasota LWV joined the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Move to Amend to support the City of Sarasota’s proposed resolution to improve gun safety in the state of Florida.

Both the Sarasota and the Florida LWV support an “assault weapon” ban, and background checks on all gun purchases. The newly formed Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, led by The League of Women Voters of Florida, delivered a letter to Governor Scott, Senate President Gardiner and House Speaker Crisafulli calling for these measures to be adopted in the state of Florida. To read the letter, see the LWVF website,

The following is excerpted from the Herald Tribune story by Zach Murdock appearing June 21.
Despite city commissioners’ unanimous personal support for a resolution calling for new limits on “military-grade, high-capacity magazine assault weapons,” the threat of litigation over the measure ultimately doomed it Monday night.

The City Commission voted 4-1 — with only Commissioner Suzanne Atwell in support — to oppose the resolution that would have urged state and federal lawmakers to institute stricter gun controls after the shooting deaths of 49 victims at the Orlando Pulse nightclub last week, including Eddie Sotomayor Jr., 34, of Sarasota.

But the decision visibly frustrated each of the commissioners who voted against the resolution, as they condemned civilian use of military-style rifles and voiced their individual support for tighter controls. They concluded the potential for a lawsuit against the city by the National Rifle Association or some other gun-advocacy organization was too great to support the resolution.

Per Florida’s pre-emption laws, the city is not authorized to regulate firearms or ammunition in any way. The law does provide more latitude for “a person or an organization whose membership is adversely affected” by any city, rule, order or policy to sue, he said. That could leave the city to serve as “the guinea pig in the first legal test to determine whether the pre-emption statute will be more broadly construed and applied” than ever before, stated the City Attorney Robert Fournier.

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