Florida Neighborhood Watch Bans Guns for Volunteers

It’s the story we just can’t leave alone. Months after the self defense shooting, committees are still being called to try to change laws that are in place to respect the natural rights of self defense each person should have. 

In the latest development, the Sanford Police have announced that official neighborhood watch volunteers will no longer be able to carry their weapons on duty. If they do so, they will be removed from the watch but will not be charged with a crime. 

Of course, this decision is largely political and will have no real effect on anything for several reasons: 

  • George Zimmerman was returning from the store when the confrontation started, not doing neighborhood watch duties. 
  • They’ve essentially announced to criminals that neighborhood watch members are unarmed until police arrive on scene 
  • The decision discourages potential volunteers from joining. What’s the benefit when they can patrol as a concerned citizen (as opposed to an official volunteer) and still be able to carry weapons for self defense? 

In addition to all of these, there’s a good chance the decision stands in the face of Florida Statue 790.33, which provides that the state has full control over firearms laws and no smaller entity including towns or cities can create laws regarding firearms. 

790.33 Field of regulation of firearms and ammunition preempted.—

(1) PREEMPTION.—Except as expressly provided by 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, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all existing and future county, city, town, or municipal ordinances or regulations relating thereto. Any such existing ordinances are hereby declared null and void.
 
Solid job, Sanford. 
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