North and South: Anti-gunners Targeting State Preemption Statutes

Lawmakers in at least three state capitals are considering laws to repeal state preemption statutes.
Lawmakers in at least three state capitals are considering laws to repeal state preemption statutes.

U.S.A.-( Anti-gun lawmakers in at least three states are pushing legislation to undo state firearms preemption statutes in an effort to return to the days when gun owners could easily fall victim to legal rat traps by crossing an invisible line between two jurisdictions with gun laws that might conflict with one another.

Legislation has been introduced in Florida, Oregon, and Washington—all by Democrats—to repeal state preemption statutes that have been around for several years and have always worked.

The warning seems clear to gun owners in the rest of some 40 states with preemption laws: What is happening now in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest could be coming to your state.

Preemption statutes bring uniformity to state gun regulations, and perhaps that is why gun control zealots want to be rid of them. Confusing and contradictory gun laws almost amount to entrapment, according to some supporters of preemption laws, and that’s why many such laws were passed in the first place.

In Florida, State Sen. Annette Taddeo and State Rep. Dan Daley, both from South Florida, are behind companion measures Senate Bill 672 and House Bill 6033.

About 2,800 miles northwest, perennial anti-gun State Sen. Ginny Burdick, a Portland Democrat, has unveiled Senate Bill 535, which would undo the Beaver State law that has protected gun owners from Medford to Milton-Freewater.

North of the Columbia River, Seattle-area liberal Democrat Reps. David Hackney and Nicole Macri are behind House Bill 1313, which is not the first attempt to remove the Evergreen State’s 35-year-old model preemption law.

Long story short, gun prohibitionists despise preemption because it prevents them from adopting extremist local ordinances when they can’t impose radical gun laws at the state level. Everytown for Gun Safety’s research arm contends at its website, “State firearm preemption laws override common sense by limiting cities wracked with gun violence to the identical laws that apply in rural areas where responsible gun ownership is more embedded in daily life.”

By contrast, the National Rifle Association notes at its website, “There are multiple arguments against local restrictions on basic firearm rights. Historically, some local jurisdictions have imposed clearly unconstitutional restrictions on gun ownership—the District of Columbia’s and Chicago’s since-overturned handgun bans being two recent examples. It also creates confusion when laws vary widely within a state, potentially placing otherwise law-abiding citizens at risk of violating an ordinance of which they were not previously aware, as they travel within their states, and more so when they travel outside their state of residence.”

The importance of state preemption statutes—which Everytown says exist in 42 states—cannot be overstated now that Joe Biden is in the White House. He made gun control a cornerstone of his campaign, and now the nation’s tens of millions of gun owners and the firearms industry are waiting for the worst. With Democrats in control on Capitol Hill, by admittedly thin margins, grassroots activists are being advised to stay focused and be ready to fight.

Over the years, state preemption laws have prevented anti-gun municipal governments from infringing on the rights of legally-armed citizens in Seattle and San Francisco. Presently, the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation are challenging a Seattle “safe storage” ordinance in state court on the grounds that it violates the state preemption law. About ten years ago, SAF and NRA, joined by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Washington Arms Collectors took Seattle to court over an effort to ban firearms from city park facilities. That attempt also failed because of state preemption, and the city’s ultra-liberal city government hasn’t gotten over the defeat.

While the measures in Oregon and Florida are somewhat matter-of-fact, Washington’s Hackney and Macri open their legislation with a diatribe explanation of its necessity.

“The legislature finds,” their preamble declares, “that gun violence is a public health crisis in Washington state. For over 30 years, local towns, cities, and counties have been blocked from taking action on their own to prevent gun violence because of the statewide preemption of local regulations relating to firearms. The legislature intends to provide local jurisdictions the ability to build upon statewide standards and adopt responsible approaches to firearms regulations to help address the epidemic of firearm violence in their communities by restoring inherent local authority to adopt firearms regulations under the police power to protect public health, safety, and welfare.”

Washington has become something of a petri dish for anti-gunners wanting to experiment with various gun control proposals. Now, it appears, the gun control lobby and its state legislative allies are broadening their offensive.

Links to state repeal legislation:

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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uncle dudley

When will these idiot elected official’s who push these type of infringements realize that we don’t have a gun problem in this country, instead we have a criminal problem that they keep allowing to fester by not being tough on law breakers who use a gun in the commission of a crime.
Put the blame where it needs to be and not on innocent lawful gun owners.


Since in those states with prevention statutes it is contrary to state law for a jurisdiction within that state to make a law that conflicts with the state law, any local lawmaker who proposes or votes in favor of a law that conflicts with that statute should be personally fined since they violated, or attempted to violate, the law.


How about chargin gthem with felony perjury for swearing their oath of office then failing to keep it?


Chip, chip, chip.
Wake me when a leader emerges and it’s time to take back our country. In the meantime, the Democrats are running roughshod over our Rights and are getting away with it- the giant is still sleeping.

Dubi Loo

We don’t have a “gun violence” problem, we have a legislator’s violence problem.


and an ignorance problem too.

Dubi Loo

Yes Sir


And a complacency problem among gun owners.


James Madison warns us of exactly this danger in Federalist 51. Factions of citizens band together to oppress the rights of a minority of citizens. We see this in Jim Crow laws. We see this in various forms of ‘Blue Laws’ over the history of the country and now we see this by progressives who are driven to run every aspect of life for their neighbors. Factions that plot to usurp the rights of their fellow citizens will do so first at the local level. In this case we see progressives declaring Blue Utopian Repuliks in cities and towns and… Read more »


As a citizen of the State of Florida, I was interested in the two miscreants pushing this legislation. The woman is was born in Columbia and the her male counterpart is from New York. Go figure?!


In many ways local ordinances regarding firearms are like speed-traps on the highway. Some locality decides to enforce laws differently from how they are enforced elsewhere for their own gain. However with speed-traps the laws are uniform, any speed limit change is clearly marked, punishment is a relatively low fine, and they are usually easily spited and avoided by simply slowing briefly. Local gun restrictions are different in that they are hard to learn about, hard to comply with, require changes in gear which persist beyond jurisdiction in question, often are incompatible with each other, and carry potential for draconian… Read more »


speed may be “strongly correlated” with severtiy in crashes. But speed per se is not a causative agent in crashes. Most crashes are due to differences in speed. SO when the open interstate is posted at 75, and Bumpkinvill arbitrrarily drops it to 60 wihtin their town limints, everyone knows the road and condidtions did not change, only the number on the sign. So SOME slow t the posted limit, others did not see the sign or choose to ignore it, knowitng its not a sfety issue, that fifteen mph speed differential is a signficant causative agent in crashes. Much… Read more »


Seems to me that the ‘legislators’ who propose such laws conveniently ‘forget’ that one of the primary reasons for such preemption laws is to ensure (insure?) that there is consistency in laws across the state. How could a reasonable law abiding Citizen be expected to know a whole hodgepodge of various laws as they travel about their state. Then imagine what problems that would cause for someone visiting from another state.


This is so funny. Douglas county, coos county and a number of other counties have already taken measures against our state legislature to circumvent any changes to our laws regarding carry and the guns and magazines that we can and cannot have. It will take changes in federal law to effect us not what ever our state can dream up and try and inflict on gun owners in our counties. In Douglas county our law enforcement already knows if they try and inflict gun laws that take ours away that it will be a high cost and I am sure… Read more »


I think you should have had “quorum” instead of “forum”.


Lol, yep your right.


Play by the enemies’ rules; lose by the enemies’ rules.


Typical demonrat. If we can’t get what we want when we want it, we will ask a demonrat judge to back what we want, if it is found illegal we will change laws in order to achieve our goal, they will do anything they can to accomplish their devious tasks. Lie, cheat and steal are normal modes for them but they are specialists in this field and manipulate everything and anything they can. Got money? I’m for sale.


I used to live in St Louis County, where there are well over 100 separate legal jurisdictions. Just imagine trying to keep track of separate gun laws for each jurisdiction you might pass through (and don’t miss any!!!) when you want to drive across town. It would be a hopeless tangle of laws that no mortal could be expected to keep track of. State preemption is just common sense.