June 5, 2020
Contact: Steven Nekhaila,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
[email protected]


KEY WEST, Fla. – Today, Libertarian Party of Florida Chairman Steven Nekhaila calls for West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James to immediately return civil rights to citizens of that city.

By imposing a State of Emergency and nighttime curfew Sunday, James activated Florida Statute 870.044 which states the following:

the following acts shall be prohibited during the period of said emergency throughout the jurisdiction:
(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.

James’ Order also included the discretionary statutory mandate to prohibit night-time alcohol sales. The measures were extended yesterday and are still in effect.

“It is the mark of a free individual to have the option to defend themselves how they see fit,” Nekhaila said. “With the City of West Palm clearly violating the right of self-defense, it is up to the people to stand up against government overreach and have their voices be heard by supporting the only political party in Florida which supports gun rights without question.”

The Libertarian Party of Florida platform clearly states:
We support the unfettered ability to possess, carry, and modify firearms and accessories for purposes including, but not limited to, self-defense and to secure the rights of the free individual. We support open carry and constitutional carry initiatives in Florida. We oppose all restrictions on firearms, ammunition and accessories, unless mandated by private property owners on their premises.

The West Palm Beach municipal website seems to avoid James’ responsibility in issuing the Order.

“Online claims that the City of West Palm Beach is violating 2nd Amendment rights through the recent imposition of a nighttime curfew are false. When a State of Emergency is declared for the protection of the public from a clear and present danger of a riot or other general public disorder, widespread disobedience of the law, and substantial injury to persons or to property, the State of Florida preempts local government regulation of guns and mandates that the following acts are prohibited during the period of said emergency throughout the jurisdiction:” The post then lists the provisions in 870.044.

Nekhaila said the city’s post was a cop-out.

“The power grab by local governments in Florida due to COVID-19 and protests must be stopped,” Nekhaila said. “And voting Libertarians into local office, as well as creating a framework for political action through building and participating in your local Libertarian affiliate, volunteering and donating to the Libertarian Party of Florida, are all ways to fight back.”

The full Order can be read here:

By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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