#DefendLocal in Sun-Sentinel: A Fight Worth Winning

Recently, CDLS member and Coral Springs City Commissioner Dan Daley authored an op-ed in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper about the need to overturn Florida’s unconstitutional firearm preemption laws.

Read the full text below or here at the Sun-Sentinel.

Florida preemption laws vs. gun reform: A fight worth winning | Opinion


No one needs to be reminded what happened here three months ago.

We see the aftermath on the news every day. We hear it in the voices of those who were shot at, those who lost daughters, sons, sisters, and brothers. We heard their pain earlier this month, at the town hall meeting we held on gun violence organized by the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions.

It’s not pleasant to remember. Frankly, it would be easier to forget. I think every day about the nine constituents lost that day — children of Coral Springs, students of Parkland, residents of Broward, our future, one and all.

But as long as change is needed, we can never forget. Change was needed after Columbine. It was needed after Sandy Hook. And it’s needed right here, right now, more than ever.

City commissioners like myself, along with local mayors, council members, and county commissioners across Florida, want nothing more than to keep our communities safe from gun violence. It’s our highest calling and our most solemn responsibility.

But there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.

For years, state lawmakers have used a tactic called preemption to ban cities and counties from passing their own laws. They’ve blocked local decisions on wages, jobs, affordable housing, clean air and water, discrimination, and gun safety. Those legislators won’t tell you this, but deep-pocketed special interests and their corporate bottom lines are the force behind it.

Not content with silencing our community’s voices, they’re even going after local officials personally, threatening fines, lawsuits, and even removal from office by the governor — all for doing our jobs and daring vote on common-sense local ordinances.

After watching students and teachers gunned down at my alma mater, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I’d had enough.

That’s why I recently filed a lawsuit, with my fellow commissioners and mayors, to overturn Florida’s unconstitutional preemption laws. Nearly two dozen other cities have joined the fight, pushing back on this abuse of power that robs us of the right to determine our own future.

They say you can’t fight city hall — but it’s a lot harder to sue the state. When I saw the tears in Coconut Creek, and heard the fury over inaction forced by state overreach — and over state gun reforms that alone won’t get the job done — I knew it was the right decision. The school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas made that even more clear.

Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. We must do more than “never forget” those whose lives were lost. We have to push beyond honoring their memory, and demand change in their names. We have to protect our local democracy wherever it’s threatened — at the statehouse, at the ballot box, and in court.

What’s at stake is your ability to demand local solutions to gun violence that reflect our community’s values. It’s quite literally a fight for our lives. And it’s a fight worth winning.

Dan Daley is a Coral Springs city commissioner and immediate past president of the Broward League of Cities.

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