Attacks On Preemption Really Attacks On All Gun Rights

(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

Preemption is a wonderful thing when it comes to gun laws. While the ideal state is one with no additional gun control laws, the truth of the matter is that such states are fairly rare. However, when a state has gun control laws and every community can enact their own gun control as well, you create a nightmare scenario for those who travel within a given state.

After all, while traveling from state to state entails people needing to be familiar with the gun laws of the various states they pass through, it’s impossible to do the same when gun control laws can shift wildly within just a few miles.

Now, preemption is under attack, and that attack isn’t just an attack on preemption.

Firearm preemption laws across the country currently face legislative and judicial challenges as local governments seek to regulate guns, a trend which threatens Second Amendment rights, a National Rifle Association spokesman told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Preemption provides residents with a uniformed set of rules when it comes to owning, carrying, and using a firearm throughout the state,” NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide told the DCNF. Preemption laws remove the power of local governments to regulate firearm ownership, according to gun control advocacy group Giffords, which the group says prevents local officials from protecting their communities from gun violence.

Gun rights organizations, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), argue that preemption laws are essential in preventing localities from violating citizens’ Second Amendment rights, as well as eliminating confusion over the particular laws to which a citizen is subject as they travel throughout the state.

“Dismantling that system creates a confusing patchwork of laws that place law-abiding residents in legal peril just for exercising their constitutional right to carry a firearm or to defend themselves and their families,” Dalseide said.

Gun rights advocates worry these local challenges will imperil gun owners and citizens alike. Dudley Brown, president of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, told The Wall Street Journal that repealing preemption laws will “open up the floodgates for woke city councils to disarm their citizens.”

Brown is absolutely correct.

Unfortunately, though, that’s not likely to be an argument that will sway anti-gunners. Then again, nothing much will. They’re so myopic about gun control that they can’t see the problems that a lack of preemption laws can create for gun owners.

Yet that doesn’t mean those issues don’t exist simply because someone pretends they don’t.

Gun control advocates often argue that preemption stops local communities from finding solutions to their problems with violence. However, that’s an outright lie. They’re fine with limiting local governments, they just don’t like it when their preferred solutions are off the table.

After all, they aren’t willing to allow a local government to have looser gun control laws if that government feels that’s the best way to address violence. Don’t pretend that this is about local control when you’re not willing to provide local control in either direction.

Preemption, however, is about preserving people’s gun rights.

Jul 31, 2021 8:30 AM ET