Memphis looks to thumb nose at preemption

Image by Brett_Hondow from Pixabay

Even in the most pro-gun states, there will be urban enclaves that love them some gun control. These places don’t value their rights, they want the illusion of safety instead.


Take Tennessee, for example. They’ve got places like Memphis.

This is a community that has a very real crime problem. As a result, it seems they want gun control.

Memphis leaders are looking to address gun violence by proposing new laws, which would restrict access to certain weapons.

Councilman JB Smiley is sponsoring an ordinance that would ban permitless carry, assault rifles, and the ability to store weapons in your vehicle unless it’s in a lockbox.

“There’s a proliferation of firearms in the city and if the state elected officials are derelict in their duty, refusing to take care of our people, on the local level, we have an obligation to make sure that people are safe in their homes and their communities and that’s what this ordinance is about,” Smiley said.

The problem, though, is that Tennessee has preemption. Memphis can want all the gun control in the world, but they can’t lawfully have any.

Smiley’s ordinances might get passed, but they’ll never be enforced, and that’s a good thing.

See, it’s not just a rights issue here. It’s also a public safety thing, and their desire to end permitless carry doesn’t actually do much of anything.


First, you’re going to create an environment where people who live outside of Memphis will be legally barred from carrying within the city without a permit that will know will take weeks or months for anyone to get–and that’s assuming such a permit would be issued to anyone without a Memphis address.

Admittedly, they may just require a state permit, but that still creates issues as many people will still be barred from exercising their Second Amendment rights when they visit the only city in the state that requires one.

Meanwhile, criminals will continue to carry their guns without concern for the law. They’re criminals. It’s what they do.

So with fewer people carrying, the bad guys will have an easier time of things.

Look, the truth is that I don’t actually get bent out of shape when bad guys get shot. I’d rather they didn’t, but pretty much only because they’d opted not to be criminals in the first place. A good guy shooting a bad guy trying to harm him or someone else is a “feel good” story for me and I won’t apologize for it.

Smiley wants to make that harder in Memphis.


The truth of the matter, though, is that this is a measure being proposed because no one in the city government has any interest in actually addressing the real problems that lead to violent crime in the city. They want to blame the guns, but do they think people will just stop being violent if they don’t have firearms?

No. It’s ridiculous to think so.

At best, they’ll switch to other weapons, but people will be just as dead.

Meanwhile, good, decent, law-abiding people are the ones who will be left defenseless.

Luckily, preemption is a thing there, and so this law won’t accomplish anything even if it passes. The first time they try to enforce it, the city will get hit with a lawsuit and the law will be overturned by the courts.

Which makes this a waste of time at best.

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