Miami officials challenge law barring city from enacting gun laws

Miami officials challenge law barring city from enacting gun laws
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Miami commissioners are eying a possible challenge to a Florida state law barring municipalities from enacting local gun laws.

The Miami Herald reported commissioners have approved a resolution empowering the city's attorney to examine a 2011 state law that imposes fines and possible removal from office on municipal officials that try to pass local gun laws.

That resolution gives the city's attorney, Victoria Méndez, the ability to sue the state if she determines that the law violates the constitution or is faulted in some way.

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"We have empowered our attorney to take on the state with regard to that legislation to see if it’s even constitutional for them to bind our hands like that," Commissioner Ken Russell (D) told the Herald on Wednesday.

A possible challenge to the state law could allow Miami and other municipalities to enact their own restrictions on firearms, such as an assault weapons ban. Russell told the Herald that he backs such a prohibition. 

The Miami resolution came a month after a gunman open fired at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale, killing 17 people and injuring 14 others.

The attack renewed a national debate over gun control laws, with many advocates for stronger restrictions calling for a ban on assault-style weapons, like the AR-15, the gun that authorities say was used to carry out the attack in Parkland.