Sarasota City Commissioners to consider “Assault Weapon ban” resolution tonight at 6 pm

The Sarasota City Commission will consider City Manager Tom Barwin’s resolution today at 6 pm — a resolution that calls upon state and federal officials to ban “assault weapons” from the general public.

According to the commission’s schedule, the embattled resolution will be heard during the commission’s evening session, which begins at 6 pm today at Sarasota City Hall, 1565 First Street Sarasota, FL 34236.

As I’ve said, the city commissioners themselves lack the statutory authority to create a gun ban of their own. Florida’s powerful preemption

Sarasota City Manager Thomas Barwin

Sarasota City Manager Thomas Barwin

statute gives only the state legislature the authority to regulate firearms. If local officials create their own gun laws, they’re subject to criminal charges, fines and removal from office.

Barwin’s resolution lacks any real authority. It’s not an ordinance or law. It’s merely a way for the commissioners to express an opinion, assuming they pass the resolution.

Barwin’s current proposal contains several inaccuracies.

It states that “a majority of the American public, including legal gun owners, support … limiting the availability of military grade, high capacity magazine assault weapons to bona fide and highly trained law enforcement agencies.”

I’ve never met a “legal gun owner” who believes only police should have ARs, much less a “majority of legal gun owners” who believe that the rifles belong only in the hands of law enforcement.

The resolution also claims that “military grade, high capacity magazine assault weapons” have been “disavowed by most reputable pro-hunting organizations.”

Barwin’s resolution has drawn national attention, and earned the ire of the National Rifle Association.

Several people, including Mike Young and other FFLs, have told me they intend to tell the commissioners what they think of the resolution during the public comment period.

I will be attending, and we’ll have full coverage here.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Michael J Buckley on

    Great job Lee! Thanks for your hard work and accurate reporting. I am very interested to read about the public reaction during the comment period.

  2. This idea has some real possibilities 🙂 Removal from office or Termination of contract, $5,000 dollar fine that is paid by the violator (public funds may not be used), and anyone affected can sue the violator civilly and make lots of money from the person passing or enforcing the law. This would get a lot of Democrats out of elected office 🙂 I believe the phrase is WIN / WIN Please I beg you to pass this law, it would be so much fun — for us anyway .

    790.33 Field of regulation of firearms and ammunition preempted.—

    (1) PREEMPTION.—Except as expressly provided by the State Constitution or general law, the Legislature hereby declares that it is occupying the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all existing and future county, city, town, or municipal ordinances or any administrative regulations or rules adopted by local or state government relating thereto. Any such existing ordinances, rules, or regulations are hereby declared null and void.

    (c) If the court determines that a violation was knowing and willful, the court shall assess a civil fine of up to $5,000 against the elected or appointed local government official or officials or administrative agency head under whose jurisdiction the violation occurred.

    (d) Except as required by applicable law, public funds may not be used to defend or reimburse the unlawful conduct of any person found to have knowingly and willfully violated this section.

    (e) A knowing and willful violation of any provision of this section by a person acting in an official capacity for any entity enacting or causing to be enforced a local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation prohibited under paragraph (a) or otherwise under color of law shall be cause for termination of employment or contract or removal from office by the Governor.

  3. Pingback: Sarasota City Manager slamming guns, NRA on Twitter - The Gun Writer

  4. A large majority of assault gun owners do not use them for mass murder. So, let’s punish the legal gun owners to get the less than .000001% that uses them in mass shootings. I do not condone murder neither did the founding fathers. Guns do not kill people. People kill people with guns. Unfortunately, the price of Freedom is not cheap.

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