Preemption laws aren’t popular with anti-gunners. They like communities being able to create their own gun control laws and any measure that prevents that is something they simply can’t tolerate. Never mind that they don’t want to let communities choose to have less gun control. Local control only goes so far with them.
Anti-gunners in the state of Colorado aren’t fans of preemption either, of course. Unfortunately, they’re in a position to do something about it.
Senate Democrats Tuesday, over strong objections from the Republican minority, passed Senate Bill 256, a bill that lifts the state’s ban on local governments passing stricter gun laws than those that exist in state law.
The final vote was along party lines, 19-15, with one Democrat absent.
Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, said he started working on the bill before the March 22 King Soopers shooting in south Boulder, and just after a Boulder district court judge tossed a local ordinance banning assault weapons within city limits.
“I think the judge got it right” based on the 2003 state preemption law, he told the Senate Monday.
“I don’t think it’s right that some cities can do this and some cannot,” he said, referring to a similar Denver ordinance banning firearms that was upheld by the state Supreme Court, due to it being an issue of mixed state and local concern. Guns play a different role in everyone’s life, he acknowledged. For some, guns are normal part of life while others may not have ever seen one.
“But we also know the impact of guns, the violence that results from them, is different in every community as well,” noting that the vast majority of suicides come from guns.
It’s appropriate to allow the local body closest to their citizens to pass ordinances that they believe are best for their community, Fenberg said.
The bill was amended during Monday’s debate to grant those with concealed carry permits an exemption from criminal penalties tied to a local ordinance, based on whether that person should have known about a local ordinance that bans firearms in general or concealed weapons.
The bill now heads to the House where it will likely pass.
First, it’s good to see an anti-gunner actually acknowledge that the Colorado Springs ruling–that the city didn’t have the authority to ban assault weapons–was right. Kind of refreshing, to be honest.
But that’s the only positive thing I can really say about much of anything.
I mean, we get the same tired refrain about how guns are responsible for violence and then commentary on suicides. Suicides are a mental health issue and need to be addressed as such. Simply removing one potential means of suicide doesn’t make suicides go away.
Further, invoking the King Sooper shooting ignores the fact that even if Colorado Springs had managed to keep that ordinance, it wouldn’t have done a thing to prevent the shooting.
All local gun control really does is manage to jam up otherwise law-abiding citizens who are now doing something that was legal just a few feet away outside the city limits. That’s it.
Look at all the cities with local gun control laws. None of them have actually prevented shootings in their cities. None of them are even much safer per capita than rural areas without those local laws. Why is that? Maybe because guns aren’t really the problem?
Of course, it’s not like Colorado would acknowledge that.