Orlando, Maitland join lawsuit against Florida ban on local gun laws


Orlando and Maitland are among 10 cities to join a lawsuit this week that challenges a state ban on local gun restrictions.

In Florida, elected municipal officials who pass gun regulations can be removed from office by the governor, personally sued and fined up to $5,000. Cities who try to pass restrictions can be punished with a $100,000 fine and legal fees under the 2011 law.

The original lawsuit was filed last month by 10 South Florida cities, including Weston, Miramar, Pompano Beach, Lauderhill, Miami Gardens, South Miami, Pinecrest, Cutler Bay, Miami Beach and Coral Gables. City officials in Weston initiated the lawsuit, alleging the statue is "invalid and unconstitutional" because the extreme penalties deter local official from considering reasonable gun regulations.

Orlando and Maitland joined Boca Raton, Surfside, Tallahassee, North Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, St. Petersburg and Key Biscayne in an amended complaint filed Tuesday, bringing the total number of participating cities to 20.

"Municipalities and elected officials from across the state, in urban, suburban and rural communities, have all joined the fight to protect the home rule authority of local governments, and to reflect the passion of their residents," said lead attorney Jamie Cole, of the firm Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, in a statement.

The challenge was filed about two months after a gunman killed 17 students and teachers in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in South Florida.

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