Democratic candidate for governor Gwen Graham said Tuesday that, if she were elected, she would support giving local governments authority to enact tougher ordinances regulating firearms.
In 2011, the Legislature passed legislation that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law that prohibits local governments from regulating firearms and adopting gun regulation measures that exceed those at the state level. The courts have upheld the law.
“Following the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas, cities and counties across the state want to act where the Legislature and Rick Scott have failed — but Tallahassee politicians have trampled on home rule in an outrageous attempt to block local governments from banning weapons of war from our streets and protecting their citizens from gun violence,” Graham said in a news release. “As governor, I will work with cities and counties to restore local control and their ability to protect their communities by making my Office of General Counsel available to assist local governments challenging the state’s preemption law.”
Graham’s statement on local gun regulation brought immediate criticism from the campaign of another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum, who has attacked Graham for not taking a tougher stand on gun control measures before now.
“I’m glad the Congresswoman’s election year conversion on guns includes backing Mayor Gillum’s fight with the gun lobby,” said Gillum spokesman Geoff Burgan. “It would have been nice for her to support his fight when she was a sitting Member of Congress. Democrats can’t trust her on this issue, while the Mayor’s consistently fought for gun safety.”
Since the school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month that killed 17 students and teachers, there have been suggestions by some local governments to ignore state law and enact their own local laws regulating guns.
Last month, Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli proposed a city-wide ban on assault weapons. Weston’s Mayor Daniel Stermer has suggested that cities and counties across Florida should join forces in challenging the state’s preemption law.
In addition to Graham and Gillum, two other Democrats are seeking the gubernatorial nomination for their party. Both Philip Levine and Chris King support tighter gun measures to protect public safety.
On the Republican side, the two announced candidates for governor, Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis are both strong gun rights proponents.
“The NRA spent $300K to try to defeat me a few years ago – they lost. They’ve also spent untold millions buying off Tallahassee politicians and trying to destroy local control – when I’m Governor, they will lose again. If Tallahassee politicians fail to pass common sense gun safety, I’ll make sure local governments can step in and do the job the NRA sellouts in Tallahassee refuse to,” Graham said.
In addition to supporting stronger gun control measures at the local level, Graham also announced a gun plan banning the sale of military-style assault weapons, implementing universal background checks, and investing more in mental health to prevent future tragedies.