Last month, a Florida lawmaker proposed a new bill that is seeking to end cooperation between local law enforcement officials and U.S. agents in enforcing federal gun laws. Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, submitted HB 733, otherwise known as the “Second Amendment Protection Act,” but lawmakers say it has the legislation is based on the rights afforded to Florida under the 10th Amendment as well. Criminal defense lawyers in Seminole County say that the proposed measure would bring gun control issues back to the state for legislation and enforcement.
According to HB 733, any state, county, or other local law enforcement official who participates with or aids a federal agent in any way on cases involving federal gun laws will be subject to disciplinary action and could risk immediate dismissal. Citing Florida’s history of providing the “best solutions” to problems of “healthcare, education, or [a] balanced budget,” Eagle said that the bill would place gun laws and their enforcement back at the state level. “When it comes to protecting our fundamental Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution, I believe it is best left to be handled by Floridians for Floridians,” the Representative said.
Eagle’s bill does not prevent federal agents from conducting investigations and enforcing gun laws throughout the state, but it does disallow state and county police officers from lending the hand. This end to cooperation comes from the anti-commandeering doctrine, which goes back to precedents set in the 1840s. The doctrine states that the federal government cannot legally make a state or its officers help enforce or implement federal laws, programs, and other initiatives.
Several changes have been made to state and federal gun laws in the last few years, and more are on their way, criminal defense attorneys in Seminole County say. Gun control is a hot topic, and lawmakers like Eagle believe that it is best handled at the state level, in order to protect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners and provide safety and security for anti-gun groups as well. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution grants states the right to control any powers that have not been delegated to the federal government, and law enforcement usage is one such power. If HB 733 is passed, Florida lawmakers and law enforcement agencies can refuse to provide aid to federal government agencies operating in their state.
Florida is using this law as a new tactic in handling the wave of anti-gun and pro-gun movements that have cropped up in the last few years, fueled in part by a rise in school shootings and other gun violence crimes, and a widespread attempt to tamp down on gun laws, making it harder to buy or own guns for any purpose.
At the Law Offices of Ryan N. Yadav, our criminal defense attorneys represent gun owners in Seminole County and several surrounding areas, as well as Floridians who have been accused of criminal activity involving gun violence, gun possession, or other related crimes. If you have a gun crime-related legal issue, contact Ryan N. Yadav for a free, no-strings consultation today.