By Mary Hladky
City Council member Monica Mayotte has backed off an effort to pass two resolutions supporting gun control measures after her council colleagues voiced concerns about wading into partisan political waters. The resolutions would have expressed City Council support for background checks on all gun sales and so-called red flag laws.
Mayotte drew support at a Sept. 23 council workshop from Andrea O’Rourke and Andy Thomson on the substance of the resolutions, but they were reluctant to vote for them.
Mayor Scott Singer said he is “not a fan” of resolutions that are not related to Boca Raton issues.
“Even well-intentioned resolutions can cause issues,” he said, adding that he did not know if city residents would support Mayotte’s resolutions.
Thomson said he had a concern about the city’s taking a position on gun measures. Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers said the council should not take a position on matters over which it has no power.
O’Rourke said it is a “slippery slope” when the council strays from city issues and noted the council is nonpartisan.
“Thank you for your honesty,” Mayotte responded. She said she would remove the resolutions from the Sept. 24 council meeting agenda.
“I understand the rationale behind it,” she said after the workshop about the other council members’ concerns. She said she did not feel that her colleagues were silencing her voice.
“I am not discouraged,” she said.
Florida prohibits cities from enacting their own firearms regulations. Under state law, local officials can be removed from office, fined or sued if they move ahead with their own regulations.
Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson in Tallahassee ruled in July that those penalties were unconstitutional, but his ruling has been appealed.
Red flag laws empower police to take weapons out of the hands of those who are likely to use them to harm themselves or others.
Florida passed a red flag law after a gunman killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018. Ú