Tallahassee, Florida. — Florida lawmakers could fine local government officials who try to restrict the sale of guns and ammunition under a state law upheld by the state Supreme Court on Thursday.

Former Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and some municipalities sued the state through the law it prevents local governments from imposing restrictions on gun sales, saying it goes too far because it also imposes penalties on elected officials who vote for the restrictions.

But the conservative court’s justices dissented in a 4-1 decision, saying local officials are not exempt from fines.

“It is not a primary function of a municipality to occupy territory that the Legislature has preempted, and local governments have no legal discretion or authority to enact ordinances that violate preemptive state rights,” the court wrote.

The Preventive Measures Act was revised in 2011 to include penalty provisions – and was later challenged by several local authorities who wanted to adopt gun safety measures in relation to The 2018 Parkland High School shooting resulting in the death of 17 people. Fried, who resigned earlier this month after an unsuccessful run for governor, later joined the lawsuit.

The law provides for a fine of 5,000 dollars for officials who willfully violated the law. In his dissent, Judge Jorge Labarga said the penalty is “an impermissible judicial intrusion into an official’s legislative thought process, and it undermines the official’s ability to carry out the will of the voters.”

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