Florida mayor declares state of emergency, issues temporary ban on sale and public possession of firearms

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James issued a declaration of state of local emergency on Sunday, banning the sale of firearms and ammunition due to the George Floyd protests taking place in the Florida area.

In his Sunday proclamation, James wrote, “There is reason to believe that there exists a clear and present danger of a riot or other general public disorder.”

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As such, the declaration expressly states that the sale of firearms is prohibited.

“The following acts shall be prohibited throughout the City during the State of Local Emergency,” a portion of the proclamation reads. Those acts include “The sale of, or offer to sell, with or without consideration, any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size of description.”

“The intentional display by or in any store or shop of any ammunition or gun or other firearm of any size of description” is also banned, as well as “[t]he 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 declaration also stipulates that the city is under curfew for 72 hours following the proclamation, and retailers also cannot sell alcoholic beverages during the 72 hours of declared local emergency. The curfew is in effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

On Monday, James defended the proclamation, and WPEC-TV reported that he plans to ask the city commission for an extension on the declaration.

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

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