Starting July 1, guns at work will be OK
BY BETTY PARKER • FLORIDA TODAY CAPITAL BUREAU • April 16, 2008
TALLAHASSEE -- At least one lawsuit is in the works after Gov. Charlie signed into law Tuesday the controversial guns-at-work bill that allows employees to keep guns locked in their cars on company property.
The Florida Retail Federation, and the Guns At Work Coalition, an umbrella group of businesses that opposed the bill, has hired well-known attorney Barry Richard and will file a lawsuit “soon, said Rick McAllister, president of the Florida Retail Federation.
With Crist’s signature, the new law is set to take effect July 1.
“We will continue to fight this legislation every step of the way,” said a statement from the Guns At Work Coalition, led by the Florida Chamber.
McAllister said his group is “disappointed that the governor chose to follow the lead of the Legislature. We believe this is a clear violation of constitutional property rights.”
The lawsuit will focus on those property rights, said McAllister, which is one reason they hired Richard with his experience in constitutional law.
Crist could have allowed the bill to become law without a signature -- a move that sometimes signals the governor is less than enthusiastic, or vetoed it. But he said when the Senate passed the bill less than a week ago that he expected to sign it. “The 2nd Amendment is very important to me,” he said then, adding that he also thought people should have the right to protect themselves.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Durell Peaden, a Crestview Republican, and Rep. Greg Evers, a Baker Republican.