Florida’s powerful preemption statute prohibits any state, county, city or other public entity from regulating firearms by “enacting or causing to be enforced any local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation” that regulates arms. Only the state legislature has such regulatory authority, the statute mandates. Any public official who violates the preemption statute can face removal from office and up to $5,000 in fines, which the statute requires them to pay personally.
As the agency head and chief administrative officer, Charlotte County Sheriff Prummell is personally responsible for any illegal rules or policies that violate preemption. Sheriff Prummell did not respond to calls or emails seeking an interview for this story.
This is not the first time Prummell has been accused of violating the civil rights of his constituents.
In 2019, it was learned his office had been compiling an illegal registry of gun owners by using a pawn shop database, which is a felony. Florida state law prohibits any government agency from “knowingly and willfully keep or cause to be kept any list, record, or registry of privately owned firearms or any list, record, or registry of the owners of those firearms.” The database Prummell’s deputies created contained the names of people who pawned guns and a description of the firearms, which included their serial numbers.
At the time, neither State Attorney Fox nor Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody chose to prosecute or even investigate these allegations.