Florida Gun Owners Fight Back!
The following press release was issued by our friends at Florida Carry and contains important information all U.S. LawShield of Florida members need to know. The law firm of Katz & Phillips, P.A.—the primary Independent Program Attorneys for U.S. LawShield of Florida—is leading the lawsuit.
FLORIDA CARRY PRESS RELEASE
Aug 16th, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FLORIDA CARRY SUES FDLE FOR VIOLATIONS OF GUN BACKGROUND CHECK LAWS
Tallahassee, FL – The Law Office of Katz & Phillips, P.A. has filed a class action lawsuit today on behalf of Florida Carry against the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for its ongoing violations of Florida’s firearm background check and preemption laws. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all holders of Concealed Weapon or Firearm Licenses (CWFL) and Law Enforcement Officers who have purchased a firearm in the past four years.
Florida law allows FDLE to charge a fee for supplemental state background checks prior to the purchase of a firearm. However, according to David Katz of Katz & Phillips, P.A., the law firm representing Florida Carry, “the law clearly and unambiguously exempts both CWFL holders and certified law enforcement officers from any supplemental background checks and associated fees.” FDLE has been forcing firearms dealers to collect illegal fees from concealed carry licensees for unauthorized background checks beyond those allowed by state law.
CWFL holders and active law enforcement officers are still required to have background checks performed using the free National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) when they purchase firearms. It is the unauthorized and illegal supplemental background checks and associated fees that the lawsuit aims to end.
CWFL holders and law enforcement officers have already passed all state background checks and their licenses would be suspended or revoked should they become disqualified from purchasing a firearm.
FDLE has no authority to regulate or tax firearm transfers. Only the legislature may enact Florida firearm laws or procedures. The additional FDLE rules and regulations charging a fee for unauthorized background checks violate Florida’s preemption law. Further, according to Katz, “we also believe that the state databases are often inaccurate and contain incomplete information which often leads to unnecessary delays and wrongful denials of CWFLs.”
Over 2 million people hold valid Florida Concealed Carry licenses and Florida has tens-of-thousands of active law enforcement, probation, and correctional officers who are affected by these illegal actions of FDLE. FDLE owes them their money back.
Anyone with a Florida concealed carry license who has purchased a firearm in the past four years can go to www.fdlelawsuit.com to find out if they may qualify as an additional plaintiff or class member.
For any questions on how this affects your rights as a law-abiding gun owner, call the non-emergency number on the back of your member card and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.