Florida Mayor Outlaws Gun and Ammo Sales as City Descends into Chaos

(Photo: West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James Facebook)

As Americans in every major U.S. city take up arms to defend themselves against violent looters, one Florida mayor has effectively banned armed self-defense for anyone not already in possession of a firearm.

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James declared a state of emergency on Monday prohibiting the sale of guns and ammunition, the “intentional display” of guns and ammunition, and the possession of firearms in public places.

“The public’s safety is my top priority, especially during this time of great unrest in cities nationwide,” James said in a statement.

The move comes even as residents face threats from rioters. On Sunday, shots were fired across the city as rioters damaged storefronts at the Palm Beach Outlets and threw rocks at police, according to local media. West Palm Beach Police had to block the entrance to the mall from Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and help employees safely leave the stores.

SEE ALSO: Americans of All Races Take Up Arms to Defend Against Violent Rioters, Looters

James’s move has been criticized by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which has promised to monitor the situation closely.

“These times of uncertainty and civil unrest are precisely when the Second Amendment is vitally needed most. This order prevents residents of West Palm Beach from exercising their constitutionally-protected rights at a time when law-abiding citizens need the means to defend themselves,” the NSSF said in a press release.

James cites Florida statute Section 870.044 as the authority for his ban. The statue gives the mayor the power to enact the following prohibitions, all of which James has included in his state of emergency:

  1. The sale of, or offer to sell, with or without consideration, any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description.
  2. The intentional display, after the emergency is declared, by or in any store or shop of any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size or description.
  3. The intentional possession in a public place of a firearm by any person, except a duly authorized law enforcement official or person in military service acting in the official performance of her or his duty.

SEE ALSO: Biden: Police Should ‘Shoot’ Knife-Wielding Attackers ‘In the Leg,’ Not the ‘Heart’

It’s unclear whether “intentional display” includes holding a firearm outside a business for the purposes of defending it. As we reported yesterday, Americans across the country have used firearms as an effective deterrent against violence and looting.

The West Palm Beach city government responded to the accusation that James is violating Second Amendment rights. Calling such accusations “false” in a Rumor Patrol post, the city claims that the mayor is simply reciting the policies automatically imposed by state law during a state of emergency.

At least three other Florida cities — Riviera Beach, Lake Park, and Palm Beach Gardens – have issued similar state of emergency declarations. Rivera Beach’s includes a prohibition against firearm sales, but Palm Beach Garden’s does not.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 50 comments… add one }
  • solider for liberty June 8, 2020, 11:04 pm

    “A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government,” GEORGE WASHINGTON

  • KetchumKenny June 8, 2020, 9:36 am

    West Palm Beach has a Democrat/Liberal as a mayor now? I guess all those relocated yankees are now a majority down there. That’s the reason we are not welcoming to northern transplants. They bring their problems with them.

    • John June 12, 2020, 7:39 am

      Yes, unfortunately, the relocated Yankees have taken over most or all of South Florida, just like they took over Richmond, VA. They always ruin any place they go, and that is usually in the big cities.

  • Gary Williams June 7, 2020, 11:24 am

    After all the ignorance displayed by Democrat (so called leaders) politicians in the past years of my life. I decided many years back that having my assets looked better in the form of cold blue metal, wood and great optics. Not to mention stacks of precious metals copper, lead and brass. When the Obama era hit and factory loaded ammo became scares to gun owners, I had already sent my Dillon 550 Loader back to the factory for a tune up tightened. As of today it is still working better than ever after an estimated 25,000 rounds of reloaded precious metals. As a veteran of the US Navy my oath to defend my country against all enemies foreign or domestic. I take that OATH I gave very serious and will HONOR that OATH till my last breath. “An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.” a famous Quote of THOMAS PAINE. We must Unite under these principals to conquer the enemy at hand to secure the freedom of all America.

  • Brian June 6, 2020, 12:19 pm

    Fat-assed toad doesn’t want any of his precious boo-boo looters and protesters killed, but law-abiding taxpaying citizens? SCREW THEM!

  • Phil June 5, 2020, 11:53 pm

    That mayor better read FL Constitution and Fl Statute 790. While he’s at it USC Title 10 says militia is us. Screw him.

  • Clifford Bailey June 5, 2020, 9:07 pm

    Take away my rights so rioters and looters get a free ride. The Democrats are the British and we are going to be the new militia fighting for America

  • Thomas in NC June 5, 2020, 8:54 pm

    Don’t you just love it when these small time politicians over step their authority to re-write the US Constitution?

    At the end of the night, it is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

  • Robert Messmer June 5, 2020, 6:08 pm

    Quote: “The West Palm Beach city government responded to the accusation that James is violating Second Amendment rights. Calling such accusations “false” in a Rumor Patrol post, the city claims that the mayor is simply reciting the policies automatically imposed by state law during a state of emergency.” You really have to love the logic here. “It is not against the constitution because we passed a law saying it was not against the constitution.” Any law that does not comport with the constitution is null and void by being an illegal law. Of all the rights talked about or implied in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution the right to keep and carry weapons is the only one that the Founders said SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! They knew that sometime someone would say “This is an emergency so we need to not allow this.” I noticed one or two cities missing from the list: Tallhassee, Miami, Key West, Sarasota, Panama City, and on and on. There are 283 cities, 109 towns, and 20 villages in the U.S. state of Florida, a total of 412 incorporated municipalities.

  • DaveGinOly June 5, 2020, 3:56 pm

    “The intentional possession in a public place of a firearm by any person, except a duly authorized law enforcement official or person in military service acting in the official performance of her or his duty.”

    The lawful bearing and display of firearms makes a statement – “I am a free person, prepared to defend myself, my family, and my community against criminals, foreign invaders, and against domestic enemies of the Constitution.” As such, it is a political statement, protected by the First Amendment. As we have seen from several cases brought on by the Wuhan flu lock down, constitutional rights can’t be suspended even during an emergency.

  • Taz June 5, 2020, 3:52 pm

    All these idiots want to do is start a race war. Why do these fools continue to breathe the same air we do. If they want to give up so much. Why don’t they give up their security details? Because that’s for other black folks, not them. Let them live like the black families in the lower-income areas of town. Common black families in the city do not have police security details. Why is it that they can have it and you can not?

  • DaveGinOly June 5, 2020, 3:42 pm

    “The public’s safety is my top priority, especially during this time of great unrest in cities nationwide.”
    And I propose to contribute to the public’s safety by keeping citizens as vulnerable and helpless as possible!

    You can’t make people safer by making them more vulnerable.

  • pj June 5, 2020, 1:22 pm

    ALL cities run by lefty democrap mayors and low life politicians.

  • Russell English June 5, 2020, 12:11 pm

    This is a perfect example for why you need to be prepared ahead of time. Never trust a democrat. They will steal from you or take some liberty at the first chance they get.

    • Chris Mallory June 6, 2020, 12:36 am

      If you trust any politician from any political party, well you deserve what you get, good and hard. Both parties are evil and hate America.

  • MICHAEL A CROGNALE June 5, 2020, 11:55 am

    As hard as it is for people to comprehend, this is just the latest, and so far largest, skirmish in the new civil war. There will be a lot of blood shed before this is over.

  • Dexter Winslett June 5, 2020, 11:23 am

    And of course he is a black democrat., Wake up folk.

  • Clint W. June 5, 2020, 10:38 am

    A long time ago, Palm Beach Island was a place populated by black folks for generations, similar to the Gullah in NC and SC. The island was wanted by a northeast industrialist, I think it may have been Flagler, but not sure. After attempts to buy them out at offers too low to accept, the island residents got suckered into all of them attending a large get together, food and entertainment, on the other side of the river that would become part of the Intercoastal Waterway. While gone, every building, home and barn were torched and they were paid a pittance for their property. It became an exclusive retreat for the wealthy, and until the early 1960’s those of Jewish faith, and blacks were not allowed to live there, but blacks of course, came in droves to work as servants and maids, from their new homes in West Palm Beach. All the draw bridges can be raised, and effectively cut off the island from the mainland, then can only be accessed only by boat. There will probably be no rioting in Palm Beach.

  • frank June 5, 2020, 9:37 am

    Not in the rest of Florida. Gun and ammo sales are through the roof, common down.

  • Jeff June 5, 2020, 8:28 am

    Now only the criminals and rioters will have firearms

  • bjg June 5, 2020, 8:02 am

    Yea Larry, Trump’s a real communist, (He’s the only one fighting against them) nice little swipe against Conservatives. But everyone knows your a democrat liberal on the wrong page.

  • WillB June 5, 2020, 8:02 am

    It’s Florida Law, W. Palm Beach is part of Florida. Far as I’ve seen there’s been no big problems in W. Palm as a result.

    • William Douglas Moody June 5, 2020, 9:31 am

      I must disagree with your assessment of the situation in WPB. As a former resident of West Palm and the area (45 years) and watching the elected officials constantly overextending their authority, usually with their craniums directly deposited in the lowest, dirtiest orifice, they view themselves as the saviors of mankind and never think about someone, ANYONE, protecting themselves, their families and their livelihood, which was earned through hard work and not parceled out as a reward for sitting on their asses! If I was still a resident, I would protect mine by whatever means necessary, to hell with his declaration.

  • chumley ortega June 5, 2020, 7:55 am

    “The public’s safety is my top priority, especially during this time of great unrest in cities nationwide,”
    “Safety”: The Left’s code word for SURRENDER.

  • Dr Motown June 5, 2020, 7:08 am

    The courts have failed to address these “executive orders” and “emergency powers” for decades, leading to this current state of power grabbing and tyranny by many local officials

    • FAL Phil June 5, 2020, 8:17 am

      Unfortunately, this one is supported by the Florida Code, annotated.

      The way to get around it is a constitutional referendum in the next election and let the voters override it. That will take some organization, but it can be done.

  • Slim June 5, 2020, 6:59 am

    Fyi to all… But a polymer 80 or I think it’s 80% arms who has a removable and interchangeable grip so if you want to run a G19 grip length with I think it’s 15 9mm rounds or remove that grip module in just a second or few and run the little longer G17\22 length grip for for the longer 17 round 9mm mags(or if course extendeds with either grip length. Build your own! ALL you need is a $10 max super cheap and small knock off dremel from Harbor Freight and slowly use the round sand paper wheels to grind off the needed tabs which gives a better finish anyways and splendor the barrel lug part and forgot also need any drill to drill trigger pin\etcetera holes and your done and can build it is the way you want from go and don’t have to waste money on parts like junk glock sight and barrels that can be found at least barrel wise cheaper and a way better barrel than what even the OEM replacement costs of you can even find one and it won’t have matching serial numbers as your pistol does so to me it’s a barrel not worth buying. And buy the ammo online and probably even the gun as well. Good luck people and stay safe!

  • badboy June 5, 2020, 6:51 am

    not withstanding the other arguments illuminating the faulty logic and brain dead moves of the florida mayor, another issue comes to mind. those of us who legally carry a fire arm do not do so in the official performance of our duty in law enforcement, but as a result of our right to self protection. the supreme court agreed with the 7th circuit court of appeals,one needs a way to protect himself far more in public than in his own home. the court also found, the city of chicago nor the state of illinois could not interfere with a citizens right to bare arms, under the 2nd amendment.

  • Slim June 5, 2020, 6:49 am

    Morons! So people who already haven’t had the chance or wanted till it’s really bad to buy any type weapon they may want as long as they are legal to own a firearm or other device then they as this guy is cowardly not saying which is those people deserve what they get! Wow! You know what I’d like when these cowards say dumb completely ignorant statements like that, to tell them that a fine as long as you take away your multi man team\s of heavily trained and armed security guards that guard you and your family all day, every day, for 365 days out of the year and see if they’d still agree they don’t need a gun! It’s super easy to say you don’t need a gun if you have the weight of the U.S. government and all their resources including armed killers to watch over you, but when you live an hour into the woods where when seconds count the cops aren’t minutes away, their more like an hour away and by then they’re just a clean up crews for any mess left! Tomorrow I’m going to get all my guns out and make sure the sights are 100% dead on and all guns oiled and tested for 100% reliability.

  • Hendrik Joseph Haan June 5, 2020, 6:43 am

    Now that the gun stores are all stocked up, the looters will know where to arm themselves. Furthermore, the store owners are not allowed to defend themselves. Nice move! Democrats love looters!

    • kimberproSS June 5, 2020, 9:33 am

      Maybe this mayor’s child is one of the looters and he is protecting him.

      • Ken June 7, 2020, 4:05 am

        Why not, Mayor Deblasio’s daughter was among those arrested in NYC. Apparently like father like daughter ie liberal Demotard!

  • Jrp June 5, 2020, 6:35 am

    If only the British would of given themselves such power in a state of emergency. They would still be in power. What gives the government in any emergency the right to take away god given rights? Oh yeah, A government that believes rights come from them. I hope people are waking up to this big government overreach that has been happening for over a century.

    • Zupglick June 5, 2020, 10:28 am

      The British DID give themselves that power. That’s why Lexington/Concord happened.

  • Jesse Scott June 5, 2020, 6:06 am

    I’m sure the savages will all be good now.

  • H.J.Meiroff June 5, 2020, 5:50 am

    Do you think he has considered his citizens can make a legal firearms/ammo purchase by going 10 minutes out of their city? Or is he just playing the political “I look like like I’m doing something for the sheep” that are against gun ownership anyway.

    • Manarii Tane June 5, 2020, 7:15 am

      I agree. There are hundreds of gun stores within just a few miles, and this empty headed dummy is playing politics with people’s lives. Vote this yoyo out of office or put him in the middle of the rioters.

  • Papa Bear June 5, 2020, 3:48 am

    Well that just means there will be more guns and ammo for the looters when they hit the gun stores. What an A$$hole!

  • Larry June 5, 2020, 3:42 am

    This law does not prevent anyone from defending their place of business or their home. It only prevents you losers from walking around with guns in public places as if it replaces your dck

    • Kip June 5, 2020, 7:06 am

      The only loser here is you.

    • chumley ortega June 5, 2020, 7:55 am

      Doe you wear a name tag that says “Larry”?

      • James Miller June 5, 2020, 8:21 am

        Of course…how else can you tell him from Darrell and Darrell?

    • Rob June 5, 2020, 8:17 am

      Hey Larry, you have no dic. Everytime you comment, you’re talking outta your vag.

    • Travis Jenkins June 5, 2020, 8:37 am

      What a dipsh*t troll. You should be in the middle of the mob watching your family, house and place of business being destroyed by criminals while having to watch helplessly.

    • Clifford Bailey June 5, 2020, 9:12 pm

      the only looser is your democratic ass. when they come for yours I hope people let them go. Good luck defending yourself with words.

    • Alex June 5, 2020, 11:52 pm

      Larry, I take your word, in that you can easily defend yourself from armed robbers with you dick. But other guy’s dicks are not as good as yours, and they mostly rely on firearms for their protection.

  • doggoneit June 4, 2020, 1:53 am

    I guess the mayor doesn’t get he doesn’t have to power to issue such an order.

  • Jaque June 4, 2020, 1:33 am

    Deny citizens the right to buy arms in a time when the need for arms is the greatest

    Only communists do such things to the taxpayers of the community.

    Current events awaken citizens quickly to the need to be armed at all times. Civil authorities have no obligation to protect the individual. Only an armed citizen has the tools necessary to protect oneself. Yet the communists of the cities deny the citizens the a local source of arms.

    • Larry June 5, 2020, 3:44 am

      It’s not only communist, but it is also fascists, like Trump, Mussolini and Hitler!

      • chinchbug June 5, 2020, 7:57 am

        Larry Hussein Mussolini

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