Hams Consider Challenge to Florida's Anti-Pirate Law

Although it went down with little public notice or debate, a challenge is mounting to the state of Florida’s criminalization of unlicensed broadcasting. The new state law threatens up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for anyone who interferes with a licensed radio system (broadcast or otherwise).
The law was admittedly tailored to attack Florida’s pirate station “infestation,” but the potential to lock people up for causing interference has also apparently alarmed some in Florida’s amateur radio community as well. They feel that opening up radio regulation to entities beyond the federal level constitutes a slippery slope that in the long run may do more harm than good to the FCC’s overall enforcement authority.
There has been one unconfirmed report that the American Radio Relay League – the national association of “ham radio” enthusiasts – may file a declaratory ruling with the FCC to force it to assert its jurisdiction in Florida. This has the potential to nullify the new law, unless the FCC itself endorses it.
If a petition for a declaratory ruling is filed and accepted by the FCC, like other forms of agency activity it will then be open for public comment. There’s been no reported timetable assigned for this undertaking but if it does come to pass rest assured you’ll be among the first to know.