Cincinnati mayor pledges gun control effort

The state of Ohio passed preemption. Then a judge decided they couldn’t.

Now, it seems communities are coming out of the woodwork to try and pass gun control laws at the local level.

Columbus already started making rumblings. Now, the mayor of Cincinnati is doing the same thing.

[Mayor Aftab] Pureval also announced his intention to pursue new gun control measures. He bemoaned court rulings and legislative decision from Columbus that he said handcuffed the city dealing with gun violence. A new Franklin Court ruling blocking Ohio’s preemption law, however, opens a window for the City to act, Pureval argued.

One of two new measures he teased would prohibit those convicted of domestic violence from ever legally possessing a firearm again.

The other would see the City move “swiftly” to get safe-storage laws on the books and in effect.

Unfortunately for him, there are big problems.

First, “safe-storage laws” aren’t safe, they’re just mandatory. They’re victim-blaming laws designed to deflect attention from leaders who can’t deal with crime in their city and put the blame squarely on law-abiding citizens whose guns are stolen.

Further, mandating they be stored may well mean they’re inaccessible when they’re needed, which is why I can’t call them “safe storage.”

As for domestic violence conviction barring someone from owning a gun, well, that’s already federal law. There’s absolutely no reason for Cincinnati to pass such an ordinance, especially since there’s absolutely nothing they can do that would be as severe as federal measures with regard to penalties.

The only reason this is up for discussion, of course, is that a judge suspended preemption. It’s encouraging cities to do this.

Except, it shouldn’t.

After all, the judge issued a stay on his own ruling. As such, preemption is still in effect, which means Pureval doesn’t have the authority to pass local gun control laws, no matter how much he wants to.

That’s a good thing.

The truth is that such measures don’t have any impact beyond the city limits, but they may well jam up law-abiding citizens traveling through or visiting a community. Preemption creates a uniform standard across the entire state, minimizing the impact on travelers.

Pureval’s proposal could potentially make visiting the city especially problematic for those who travel with firearms.

Not that it’ll matter, because as I’ve already noted, the suspension of preemption was itself suspended, and by the same judge. That means the law is still in effect and Pureval doesn’t really have the ability to pass any gun control laws.

Well, that’s not quite true. He can pass them.

Until he tries to enforce them, though, no one is going to have the standing to file a lawsuit challenging the law. Yet what’s the point of passing a law you know you can’t enforce?

Then again, what’s the point of passing gun control at all?

Cincinnati may pass whatever measures they wish, but they’ll be opposed and challenged. Lawmakers who think laws that have been tried elsewhere and failed in their mission will work differently in their communities are deluding themselves, especially when those measures are blatantly unconstitutional.