In Much of the Country, Cities Can’t Enact Their Own Gun Laws – The Trace

Days after 11 worshippers were gunned down by an anti-Semite wielding an AR-15 at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Mayor Bill Peduto urged the City Council to pass new laws regulating access to high-powered weapons. This week, Peduto followed up his plea with emails to dozens of mayors across the country urging them to do the same — even though it would probably result in lawsuits.

That’s because Pennsylvania, like 44 other states, has a “pre-emption” law prohibiting local governments from enacting gun regulations that are stricter than those passed by state legislatures.

This way of restricting local law-making was pioneered by tobacco companies looking to head off regulation in the 1960s and ‘70s. But in the last few decades, the National Rifle Association, through its supporters in state legislatures, has repeatedly used pre-emption to successfully block gun reform efforts. And the threat of lawsuits against cities that run afoul of the legislation has had a chilling effect on local lawmakers across the country, even in deep blue states like California.

We’ve reported on pre-emption several times at The Trace, but many Americans might not realize how the NRA has worked to dilute the authority of local lawmakers. Through Ask The Trace, a special project driven by the curiosity of readers, Barbara Finch asked us, “How can cities work around state pre-emption laws that apply to guns?”

Here’s the background on this the well-funded effort to block local gun reform, and the burgeoning movement to beat it back.

What exactly is pre-emption?

Pre-emption, in the constitutional context, refers to the pecking order of legislation: Federal trumps state, and, in much of the United States, states trump municipalities when it comes to gun regulation. A typical pre-emption law says that the state legislature occupies “the whole field” of firearms regulation, and declares

Read More Here...

This entry was posted in Guns & Ammunition Stocks News. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your email address will never be published.