In many states, there isn’t much a local government can do to create gun control. Preemption in these states prevents them from doing it, and there are very good reasons for these laws to exist. Not every state has preemption, but many others do.
One such state is Ohio. Local communities in the state don’t get to pass their own gun control laws.
However, the mayor of Toledo thought he found a way around it. He sent out questionnaires to all the suppliers his police department used.
Toledo, Ohio, Democratic Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz’s attempts to cancel licensed firearm retailers who don’t accept his purity tests is backfiring on him, his city’s law enforcement and his community.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz announced he was forcing his own version of gun control after 2018’s tragic murders at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. His action didn’t address criminal misuse of firearms. Instead, he sent a questionnaire to every firearm and ammunition dealer that supplied the Toledo police department, trying to influence and steer taxpayer-funded city contracts. Mayor Kapszukiewicz’s questionnaire was to “weed out bad suppliers,” and make sure the city was only buying from “responsible companies.” To little surprise, the leading phrasing of the questionnaire wasn’t taken seriously.
The questions included things like whether a company makes or sells “assault weapons” for civilian use or asks which firearms they refuse to sell to civilians.
The thing is, none of the suppliers agree with Kapszukiewicz’s premise and thus, absolutely none of them were willing to play his game.
That made things interesting for the mayor.
The mayor already had the “right” answers in mind, threatening to cancel law enforcement contracts and placing citizens in further danger from violence. Retailers didn’t cave though, recognizing their critical importance to legally provide firearms to citizens lawfully exercising their rights. They knew they had the high ground. The mayor knew it too.
“We do have to purchase the weapons for our police department from companies that we don’t believe are responsible. We have no other choice,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “While I might not say I’m not going to buy from you anymore, but I’m also not going to encourage anybody to buy from you anymore.’”
The problem is, most of these cities are too small to actually exert any real pressure on these companies. They make the lion’s share of their revenue from private citizens. That means they’re not willing to just roll over and let the city tell them what they can and can’t sell to other people. Not without a damn good reason.
In fact, if every supplier refuses to play that game, guess what happens? Nothing. No police department can function without weapons and ammunition, so while they might like to have a fat government contract for a good-size department, they’re not going to sink their business over it, especially when no one else will do the same either.
Anti-gun mayors need to come to understand that their departments are but a tiny fraction in number compared to the armed citizens of this country. You’re not going to pressure companies to completely ignore those private citizens so you can pat yourself on the back and pretend you’re doing the responsible thing.
Besides, real responsibility is to put guns in the hands of any law-abiding citizens who want one and can afford one. That allows those citizens to make a stand against the tyranny of the thug, thus making it far less likely the police will even need to be called.
Something tells me Kapszukiewicz doesn’t see it that way.