A lot of states have preemption. It’s a good policy for states to have, mostly because it creates a single uniform standard for people traveling through a given state. They know what the laws will be in every community they stop in because, well, they’re the same as everywhere else in the state.
But a lot of local governments want to pass gun control. They’re convinced it’s the answer to their cities’ problems.
It’s not, but they drank the Kool-Aid and you’re not going to convince them differently.
One such place is Columbus, Ohio. They’ve started trying to push for local gun control, but as reported in the Columbus Dispatch, that’s not happening unless they can repeal preemption.
Columbus is likely to lose its escalating legal contest with the state over the city’s proposed gun control restrictions.
That means if Columbus — or any Ohio community for that matter — wants the power to set its own local legislative agenda regarding firearms, victory probably won’t come by fighting against the state’s so-called preemption law, but by seeking instead to overturn it.
That was the alternate path cut by the residents of Colorado last year, and it is the one that holds the most promise for municipalities hoping to exercise the idea of “home rule” when it comes to gun control, said Andrew Willinger, executive director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law at Duke University’s School of Law in North Carolina.
Willinger is among the Second Amendment legal experts who have been watching as Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein tries to implement a number of local restrictions on firearms while enforcing their safe handling.
The latest twist in the case came last week, when a Fairfield County judge granted Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s request to halt the city’s newly enacted gun restrictions with a 14-day temporary order.
Following the issuance of the order, Yost said Columbus “has knowingly and deliberately overstepped its legislative authority.”
The truth is that preemption is one of those things that’s going to be hard to overturn through the courts, even if you find a particularly friendly judge. After all, that one judge may rule your way, but it’s not going to last indefinitely as you move up the judicial food chain.
That means the only real hope for cities like Columbus is to get the legislature to repeal preemption.
Yet even that’s not likely to happen.
Let’s remember that this is the same state that just passed constitutional carry. While there will be new faces in the legislature, it doesn’t look to be appreciably different than before. It’s highly unlikely a state legislature that passes constitutional carry will turn around and repeal preemption just because one of the state’s urban centers really wants to pass gun control.
It’s just not happening.
Nor should it.
Look, if preemption was the only thing stopping Columbus and other communities from addressing violent crime, that would be one thing. It’s not. Gun control doesn’t prevent crime. It’s so bad that the “science” that seeks to support it has to be so heavily manipulated and cherry-picked as to make it useless.
Further, there are other ways to address violent crime. We’ve found that programs that target those most likely to commit such crimes and give them opportunities tend to reduce crime overall. It not just keeps people from killing others, but it respects people’s rights as well.
Gun control doesn’t do either.
So yeah, if Columbus wants to pass its own gun control, it’ll have to get the legislature to repeal preemption. Since that’s not going to happen, plan B is probably something along the lines of “cope and seeth.”