A petition on Change.org to enact stricter gun control laws in Orlando originated after two mass shootings in the Orlando area in June – that of Christina Grimmie on June 11 and the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12.
It got over 40,000 signatures. Mayor Buddy Dyer responded Wednesday, saying that in Florida, local governments aren’t allowed to regulate firearms.
“In technical terms, the Florida Legislature has “preempted” cities and counties from adopting laws or policies relating to guns,” he writes.
He then states the only exception is in the Florida constitution, a provision which allows counties to enact a background check and a 3-5 day waiting period, which would close the “gun show loophole” where customers can buy a gun and take it home instantly.
Dyer then implored those who signed the petition to instead spend their time talking to their state representatives in the Senate and House, as well as representatives in the U.S. Congress, and asking them to do more on gun control.
“I hope this has been helpful and I hope you will continue to be engaged in our country’s political and legislative process,” he said.
The petition, started by resident Dylan Wolstencroft, states there is no place for assault weapons in a city like Orlando.
“They are completely inappropriate for any and all circumstances in our city, and frankly, in our state as a whole,” he wrote. “Mayor Buddy Dyer is the sitting mayor for Orlando, and as such, has the voice necessary to put legitimate pressure on our representatives in Congress. Introducing this legislation would send a powerful message to the other members of local legislatures throughout the country, and would signal that the United States is ready for legitimate change.”