Democrat Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has finally drawn the big line in the sand with the DeSantis administration that many politicos in the sunshine state expected one day she would.
As Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) and Governor DeSantis (R) both filed a 42-page brief last Friday asking for the 1st District Court of Appeal to uphold a 2011 law that threatens tough penalties if city and county officials approve gun regulations.
In the brief, the lawmakers argue that “the trial court’s decision is premised on unsupported theories of immunity inconsistent with the constitutional supremacy of the state’s authority over its counties and municipalities.”
Furthermore, “if allowed to stand, the decision will not only invite the development of a patchwork regulatory regime in the area of firearms but also render the Legislature impotent to deter power grabs by local officials in other areas.”
While Florida Republicans have remained staunch supporters of the 2nd amendment, Agriculture Commissioner Fried showed support this week for cities and counties that argue the law is unconstitutional.
On Tuesday, Fried’s attorneys filed a brief arguing that “the act of governance requires independent judgement and discretion on the part of those individuals who are the decision-makers. Immunity is a necessary shield for government and its officials when it exercises this discretion to promote the public good.”
She added that “without immunity from liability, officials would be tempted to vote for what is safest for them personally, rather than what is best for their community.”
Since 1987, the sunshine state has barred both cities and counties from passing any regulations that are stricter than the state firearms laws, and the penalties that were enacted in 2011 were meant to strengthen that “preemption.”