Judge strikes down penalties for passing tougher gun laws

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge struck down a state law that threatened city and county officials with penalties if they approved gun regulations tougher than state laws.

Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson said late Friday that Florida lawmakers can prohibit local regulation of firearms. But he said penalizing local officials for passing stricter laws is unconstitutional.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports Florida has barred cities and counties from passing gun laws stricter than state laws since 1987, but lawmakers in 2011 approved penalties for local governments and officials.

Penalties included fines of up to $5,000 and removal from office. Members of the public could receive damages up to $100,000 and attorney fees if they successfully sued.

Local officials challenged the law in 2018 after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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