The West Palm Beach Mayor this week declared a state of local emergency that banned the sale of guns and ammo in the city due to the risk of public disorders.
Mayor Keith James on May 31 issued his declaration halting legal firearms sales in the city of 100,000 along South Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Citing state law, the move not only blocks gun and ammo sales but also the possession in a public place of a firearm by any person, except for police and military.
The move came after a daylong protest that closed sections of I-95.
Subsequent amendments to the declaration have established a 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m curfew and dialed back restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages with the approval of the City Commission. The state of emergency remains in effect until terminated by the Mayor or City Commission.
“The public’s safety is my top priority, especially during this time of great unrest in cities nationwide,” said James in a statement.
While his position is nonpartisan, James publically endorsed noted anti-gun advocate Michael Bloomberg for President earlier this year.
In April, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order that exempted all firearm and ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, distributors, importers, and shooting ranges in the state from stay-at-home restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis. On Tuesday, DeSantis reported that demonstrations across the state “have remained largely peaceful over the past 24 hours and no significant law enforcement or civilian injuries or deaths have been reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”