The Firearm Firm joins with Florida Carry to protect your rights. The attorneys at the Firearm Firm (Law Offices of Katz & Phillips, P.A.), along with the law firm of Kingry and Friday, P.A. have filed a class-action lawsuit 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, managing partner of The Firearm Firm, (Katz & Phillips, P.A.), “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. It is estimated that FDLE collected 4.5 million dollars last year from these fees, much of which came from CWFL holders forced to pay this illegal fee. FDLE owes them their money back.
Anyone with a Florida concealed carry license or any certified law enforcement officer 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.
The above article was adapted from a press release issued by Florida Carry, Inc.