In terms of the Second Amendment, preemption is the idea that gun laws must originate with the state. As a result, states with preemption have a single unified code for gun control throughout the state while those without it may well have a byzantine patchwork of laws that vary from one mile to the next, making it possible for someone to become a felon just because their GPS failed to notify them of a turn.
However, preemption is under attack throughout the country.
One of the latest salvos came earlier this week from Edmonds, Washington.
The Edmonds City Council Tuesday night voted 4-3 to appeal an October ruling by Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Anita Farris that invalidated part of an Edmonds’ ordinance requiring that residents safely lock up their firearms or face a fine.
Edmonds’ two-part gun storage measure, approved by the council in July 2018, requires citizens to lock up their guns and allows fines ranging from $1,000 for simple unauthorized possession to up to $10,000 if the gun is used in a crime or someone is hurt as a result of unauthorized access.
Farris ruled Oct. 18 that while the City of Edmonds can’t tell people how to store their guns, it can fine gun owners whose firearms are possessed or used by unauthorized persons.
In theory, that should be enough for Edmonds, right? I mean, it says they can punish people for allowing their guns to be misused.
Granted, I have a huge problem with the ruling in and of itself, but shouldn’t that be sufficient for the city?
Well, it’s not. They want to punish people even if there’s no one misusing their firearms in any way and they’re willing to appeal to overturn state law to make that happen.
This comes after Seattle also has a mandatory storage law that’s being challenged. I can’t find any current dispensation on that case, though I could have sworn they’d won somehow.
Regardless, preemption is the law in Washington state and mandatory storage laws are gun control laws, regardless of what proponents try to claim.
This is part of a broader pattern, however. That pattern is that of a burgeoning war against preemption laws throughout the nation as communities take it upon themselves to violence these laws, then turn to the courts in hopes that activists judges will save the day for them. It’s not just Washington state where this is happening, either.
In Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh passed its own assault weapon ban in full violation of state preemption laws. Meanwhile, Philadelphia started enforcing a law that was on the books for years but only just now has been used. These two acts also are salvos in the war on preemption there.
Anti-gunners hate preemption because they want gun control laws to exist at every level of the government. They want it to be such a pain in the butt to carry a gun that no one will bother to do so. They can’t do that with preemption laws in the way, so they’re trying to remove them. Plain and simple.
It’s also the reason we can’t allow that to stand.