Florida law prohibits any legal action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, distributor or dealer, or firearms trade association, on behalf of Florida or its agencies.1
A county, municipality, special district, or other political subdivision or agency of the state may not sue for or recover from a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, distributor or dealer, or firearms trade association, damages, abatement, or injunctive relief in any case that arises out of or results from the lawful design, marketing, distribution, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.2
However, actions against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, distributor, or dealer are permitted for:
- Breach of contract or warranty in connection with a firearm or ammunition purchased by a county, municipality, special district, or other political subdivision or agency of the state; or
- Injuries resulting from the malfunction of a firearm or ammunition due to a defect in design or manufacture.3
For any civil actions brought in violation of these provisions, a defendant to such action may recover all resulting expenses, including attorney’s fees, costs and compensation for loss of income, from the governmental entity bringing the action.4
Florida law also provides that any sport shooting or training range shall be immune from lawsuits brought by political subdivisions for any claims associated with the use, release, placement, deposition, or accumulation of any projectile on or under that range, or any other property over which the range has a legal right of use, if the range owner or operator has made a good faith effort to comply with the appropriate environmental management practices.5 Nothing in this law is intended to impair or diminish the private property rights of owners of property adjoining a sport shooting or training range.6
The Attorney General of Florida has interpreted these provisions to mean that a county may enforce existing zoning and land use regulations against a proposed sports shooting range; however, no newly created or amended zoning or land use regulations may be enforced against existing ranges.7
A separate Florida law immunizes any person who operates or uses a sport shooting range from civil liability or criminal prosecution in any matter relating to noise or noise pollution resulting from operation or use of the range.8
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- Fla. Stat. § 790.331(2).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.331(3).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.331(2).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.331(6).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.333(5)(a); see also Fla. Stat. § 790.333(4).
- Fla. Stat. § 790.333(5)(b).
- Op. Att’y Gen. Fla. 2008-34, 2008 Fla. AG LEXIS 61.
- Fla. Stat. § 823.16.