The law, which was signed by Gov. Charlie Crist on April 15, is scheduled to take effect July 1. But the Florida Retail Federation and the Florida Chamber of Commerce hope that doesn’t happen. In their complaint, the business groups argue that the law is unconstitutional because it violates employers’ property rights.
The plaintiffs also note in their complaint that the law “will significantly increase the risk of serious physical harm or death to the customers, employees or other invitees who enter the parking lots or places of business of the Plaintiffs and those of their members who own parking lots in the vicinity of such places.” The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District Court of Florida.
The Florida Retail Federation, which represents 11,000 retailers, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which represents 139,000 businesses, expect to follow up the complaint with an injunction to ask the court to delay the implementation of the law until there is a hearing, says Rick McCalister, a spokesman for the Florida Retail Federation.
The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association also is considering joining the lawsuit, but has not yet made a decision, spokeswoman Jennifer Garner says.
Florida is the latest state where a law has passed that would allow employees and visitors to keep guns in their cars. Oklahoma, Alaska, Kentucky and Mississippi have similar laws. In Oklahoma, however, a court ruled that the state couldn’t enforce the law because it was unconstitutional.