A group of local legislators have sued the Governor of Florida over a law that became law this October. The law essentially prevents any new laws regulating gun use within the state. The group claims that the law prevents them from exercising their duties as lawmakers. The essence of the ban is as follows:
1. Passing a law in good faith, or upon advice of counsel is not a defense to a violation.
2. A civil penalty of $5,000 may be imposed, if the ordinance was passed knowingly and willfully.
3. Public Officials cannot use public funds to hire counsel in their defense.
4. A knowing and willful violation can also result in a removal from office.
Additionally, private parties who are adversely affected by any such ordinances, for example gun dealers, can also file suit against the relevant governmental entity, and can seek attorney's fees and costs, with a contingency multiplier, and the assessment of actual damages of up to $100,000.
Previously, in addition to a more complicated recall election process, public officials could only be removed for one of six offenses: malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, or commission of a felony.
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