Coral Gables commissioners pursue assault weapons ban despite Florida law


  • Photo via Michael Saechang/Flickr
Coral Gables commissioners unanimously passed a ban on military-style assault weapons despite a Florida law prohibiting local municipalities from enacting rules on guns.

Elected officials who pass gun laws can be removed from office by the governor, fined up to $5,000 and can be personally sued. But the Miami Herald reports Coral Gables city commissioners are willing to take that risk, despite the city attorney advising against it. Currently, no merchant in Coral Gables sells these types of guns.

"This is more important than us keeping our jobs," said Commissioner Frank Quesada, according to the Herald. "Could we possibly be one cog or one domino in the process of improving the safety of kids throughout the state of Florida? I think the answer is yes."

The move comes after 17 students and teachers at a Parkland high school were killed by a shooter with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle earlier this month. In the wake of the massacre, Florida lawmakers have declined at least three times to take up an assault weapons ban. The Herald reports that Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli said he wanted his city to "be an example in the face of Florida’s gun lobby and the reluctance of the Republican-controlled legislature to pass a broad crackdown on rifle sales."

"This is a matter of principle," Valdés-Fauli told the Herald. "Somebody has to take a stand."

The Coral Gables City Commission will have to take a second vote on the ordinance before it goes into effect.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.