UPDATE: Grassroots Change State Preemption Map: Firearms
How one state beat the NRA and passed the strongest gun laws in the nation
Will NRA follow the path of Big Tobacco?
Christian Science Monitor (2018)
Similar paths for tobacco, gun lobby?
USA Today (2013)
Local Public Health Policymakers’ Views on State Preemption: Results of a National Survey, 2018
Lainie Rutkow, et al. American Journal of Public Health. August 2019.
Researchers suggest that preemption will restrict or negate local public health policy-making. Our findings confirm that the vast majority of health officials and mayors have abandoned or delayed policy-making initiatives because of preemption… These data provide support for the concern that preemption—or even the threat of preemption—has a “chilling effect.”
Local Policymakers’ New Role: Preventing Preemption
Jennifer L. Pomeranz. American Journal of Public Health. August 2019.
The study by Rutkow et al. provides new and compelling evidence that preemption has real consequences for public health policy-making across a wide range of topic areas. Local policymakers’ responses confirmed that preemption may undermine local democracy, prevent policymakers from addressing the needs and values of their communities, and lead to deregulation.
For more on preemption research, see the Grassroots Change Preemption Research page.
How the Right to Farm Became the Right to Harm
In North Carolina, laws protecting CAFOs were literally written by hog industry interests… The state’s right to farm law specifically prohibits local governments from declaring agricultural operations a nuisance and bars county public health officials from challenging new or expanding operations.
Iowa passed a right to farm law in 1995 that similarly limits local regulation of CAFOs, backed by that state’s own powerful pork industry, and comparable laws have swept through many other farm states in the decades since.
Could States Do Single-Payer Health Care?
Health Affairs, 7/22/2019
Our study of state single-payer proposals in the ACA era highlights the extent to which states must contort their health reforms to overcome federal legal hurdles—particularly the threat of preemption by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974—and prompts questions about whether states can actually implement single-payer health care.
Plastic Bags & Other Single-Use Containers
With an extensive plastics background, Radoszewski will be a strong industry advocate
Plastics News, 8/6/2019
Environmentalists want cities and counties to be able to ban single-use plastic products like grocery bags, straws and polystyrene takeout containers. It is hard for the industry to fight all those local bans, so the American Progressive Bag Alliance, a self-funded group within the Plastics Industry Association, has been fighting back by getting industry-friendly state legislatures to pass laws making local bans illegal.
The NRA helped elect Bernie Sanders. Why won’t he admit it?
After a pair of mass shootings last weekend in Texas and Ohio, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced his support for a gun buyback program, declaring, “The American people are sick and tired of the NRA determining gun policy in America.”
[F]or most of his political career, Sanders has been skeptical of federal gun control. “Everything being equal, states should make those decisions,” he told me in March 2013… [Emphasis added]
Broadband & Wireless
Notes from RCRC
Senator Diane Feinstein has introduced a bill, the Restoring Local Control Over Public Infrastructure Act, which would allow local governments to continue to determine where wireless facilities will be located.
“[T]he bill is really in response to wireless carriers proposing bills that take away the local jurisdictions ability to regulate and negotiate for the placement of wireless facilities. If local jurisdictions can maintain the authority over wireless facilities that gives us the opportunity to leverage service to less profitable areas for placement in more profitable areas.”
Regulatory Wrap-Up: Weekly review of retail-related legislative, judicial developments-August 5
Summit County, CO – City officials are exploring an increase to their own minimum wage in excess of the state standard. This would be one of the first municipalities to take advantage of the new state law repealing the state’s preemption of local wage laws…
Dallas, TX – The paid leave ordinance calling for businesses with 6 or more employees to provide one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked capping at 64 hours annually went into effect August 1. For employers with fewer than 15 workers, it would be capped at 48 hours annually. Unlike their counterparts in San Antonio, Dallas city officials decided to implement the ordinance despite ongoing litigation to nullify it.
Napa council endorses Congressional bill seeking more local control of cell towers
Napa Valley Register, 8/8/2019
The city of Napa will support a Congressional bill seeking to block federal restrictions on local governments’ ability to decide where small cellular transmitters can and cannot be installed.
Colorado oil and gas regulators tussle with Weld County over control
Kiowa Country Press, 7/24/2019
The state regulatory body for Colorado’s oil and gas industry warned Weld County officials that it still maintains regulatory authority over development in the county, despite legislation that was passed to give more control to local governments….
The COGCC’s letter noted Weld County’s plans and warned the county’s attorney that the commission still has regulatory authority.
“As set forth in SB19-181, the COGCC continues to have regulatory authority over oil and gas locations in unincorporated Weld County,” the letter read.
“While SB 19-181 provides local governments with siting authority over oil and gas surface locations, it does not diminish the COGCC’s authority to regulate the orderly development of oil and gas throughout the state,” the letter continued. “To the contrary, SB19-181 reaffirms the critical role for the COGCC in numerous places.”
Cell tower concerns: New Florida law limits infrastructure control
PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) — Several cell phone carriers are rolling out 5G technology in Northwest Florida…
On Thursday, John Herron’s neighbor walked outside to find workers surveying his front yard in East Hill.
“They had told me the flags went up in their property in the right-of-way, right in front of their property and that was their first notification that poles were going up,” said Herron.
He learned a cell tower would soon be put up in front of his neighbor’s home…
His neighbor didn’t have any choice, and neither did the city.
“I think it’s terrible. I think it’s terrible abuse of authority and it’s tipping power away from local government, which is where it belongs,” added Heron.
On June 25, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1000, which stops local governments from creating or enforcing regulations on communications services.
Citing recent shootings, Daniella Levine Cava asks AG to back off gun preemption appeal
Miami-Dade County Commissioner and mayoral candidate Daniella Levine Cava is asking Attorney General Ashley Moody to reconsider her appeal of a ruling striking down part of the state’s gun preemption law.
That law bars local officials from approving stricter gun control measures than the state has authorized. In 2011, state lawmakers added penalties — including fines and removal from office — for local officials who violated the preemption.
The preemption itself — which was approved in 1987 — still stands. But a Leon County-based circuit judge struck down the penalties in a late July ruling.
County to repeal plastic-bag ban
City and county officials received a letter from the Florida Retail Federation challenging the ordinance. Governor Ron Desantis signed a bill into law that could expose cities to court costs and fees if they are sued over ordinances preempted by state statue, it could cost hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
“It’s important that we move in the direction of banning plastic bags and what I would say is equally as important is we identify those of us that don’t want to do that,” Cornell said.
Some county residents would like to see officials move forward with the ban despite potential law suits.
Florida Groups Unite to Take on Preemption
Surfrider, the Florida League of Cities, the AFL-CIO, Equality Florida and the American Heart Association, among others, have joined forces to fight back against state-level pre-emption.
Weston Mayor Daniel Stermer plans to introduce an ordinance this month banning guns from public facilities in his Broward County city. Thanks to a recent court ruling, Stermer can put his proposal on the city commisson’s agenda without being subject to a fine or getting thrown out of office…
Stermer and dozens of public officials sued to change the law after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Last week, Leon County Circuit Court Judge Charles Dodson ruled parts the 2011 law unconstitutional, opening the door for Florida’s mayors to make new rules, at least for now.
Gina Driscoll is fed up with state preemption laws
St. Petersburg City Council member Gina Driscoll is aiming at statewide preemption laws that block local governments from passing specific ordinances.
Florida judge says cities can’t be punished for passing their own gun laws
Orlando Weekly, 7/29/2019
A Leon County circuit judge late Friday struck down a state law that threatened tough penalties if city and county officials approve gun regulations.
Florida since 1987 has barred cities and counties from passing regulations that are stricter than state firearms laws. But in 2011, lawmakers went further by approving a series of penalties that local governments and officials could face if they violated the prohibition.
Punishing local officials for imposing tough gun regulations is wrong and callous. We proved it in court. | Opinion
Dan Daley, Sun-Sentinal.com, 8/5/2019
Days after a gunman, who had no business owning a firearm, walked into my alma mater and took 17 lives, I remember in vivid detail walking up to a student I knew to ask how he was feeling and how I could help. The student’s response was blunt, “Do something. Just, please do something to make sure this never happens again.”
What the student didn’t know is that for the past three decades, the Florida Legislature has tied the hands of local elected officials when it comes to enacting any measures, no matter how reasonable, regulating firearms and ammunition.
George L. Barnett: Gun control should be a local issue
With the 2020 presidential race commencing, undoubtedly federal gun control will be a major issue. In fact, it should not be.
It is one that raises voices and personal temperatures without the use of common sense. It would be my hope but unlikely that the candidates and the public will realize that gun control, with certain limited exceptions, should not be a federal issue.
It is the height of irrationality to think that gun control rules that govern municipalities such as New York should be applicable on the plains of Nebraska or the ranches of Wyoming and Montana. Thus, again with limited exceptions, gun control should be determined by states, counties and municipalities.
A Short Recap of the History & Success of the National Rifle Association
Opinion by Marion Hammer [Past President and Florida Lobbyist for the NRA]
This is an email I sent to NRA Board members awhile back, but apparently “leakers” on the Board don’t want anything out there that gives facts. NRA members and AmmoLand News readers should see it as it gives a lot of factual history. ~ Marion Hammer…
In 1980, Wayne [La Pierre] was promoted to Director of State and Local Affairs. Once he got settled into that position he and I worked out the plan to create and pass the [Florida] “Shall Issue Right to Carry” legislation. [We] planned for it to be a model for the nation.
Our plan also included passing a firearms preemption bill. Wayne wanted a “double” to make sure we made a statement that the NRA is on OFFENSE and would not stop until gun rights were protected. [Emphasis added]
Ban on a Ban on Bans: Legislation introduced to overturn a previous ban on plastic bag bans
Michigan has legislation on the table right now that would ban the ban of plastic bags ban, a situation that started during the 2016 lame duck session before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took office…
In the final days of 2016, former Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed Senate Bill 853 into action while former Gov. Rick Snyder was on vacation. The bill, proposed by Republican Sen. Jim Stamas, banned the banning of plastic bags in Michigan, on the grounds that a plastic bag ban would create a patchwork of regulations that large corporations would have too much trouble complying with and small businesses could not afford.
Column: Right to Farm versus quality of life
John Mitchell, The Voice, 8/9/2019
Farmers have a right to farm. Problems arise where that right to farm diminishes the quality of life and property value rights of their neighbors. This is the classic problem of conflicting rights. For example, I have the right to free speech. You have the right to not be discriminated against due to my beliefs and speech. Such a conflict between rights is playing out this month in Isabella County.
Coalition alleges misleading ballot language on gun control
A group of several organizations representing schools, local governments and a gun safety group filed a lawsuit in the Montana Supreme Court on Friday saying ballot language for a referendum limiting local governments’ ability to regulate firearms is misleading.
Dayton shooter used a modified gun that may have exploited a legal loophole
Cincinnati Enquirer, 8/5/2019
After the Las Vegas mass shooting, Cincinnati and Columbus attempted to ban bump stocks, which can increase the rate of fire of a rifle. Rieck’s association successfully blocked the bans by invoking Ohio’s preemption rule, which stops cities from overriding state gun laws.
[A]ny change to Ohio’s gun laws would need to come from Columbus. More than a dozen years ago, pro-gun legislators — fueled by the NRA and Buckeye Firearms Association – passed House Bill 347, which prohibited local governments from passing any regulations more restrictive than those passed by the Ohio legislature.
The bill nullified ordinances already in effect in cities such as Cleveland, which had enacted a ban assault weapons. Cleveland passed more gun laws in 2015 — including one that created a firearms registry – but the Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals struck down the local laws in 2017.
Mayor Peduto, Moms Demand Action Founder Join Forces To Call For Movement On Gun Safety Legislation
Pittsburgh CBS, 8/6/2019
[Mayor Paduto] has been pushing a city ordinance to restrict military-style assault weapons, armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines, as well as allow the seizure of guns from those deemed a threat.
Those measures, approved in April, are on hold because of lawsuits claiming they violate a state law that prohibits local municipalities from regulating firearms. [Emphasis added]
Philly leaders vow to ban guns at city recreation centers, parks
“We own and operate these rec centers and parks, and we have every right to set reasonable rules and regulations to protect our kids and adults from harm,” City council president Darrell Clarke said.
But, Pennsylvania’s preemption laws prohibit municipalities from passing their own gun-control measures, as Pittsburgh tried to do this spring following a mass shooting at a synagogue, WHYY reported.
Pennsylvania may raise tobacco sales age to 21. Science says that could slash smoking rates.
Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/30/2019
Currently 16 states without tobacco-21 laws, including Pennsylvania, have preemption policies that prohibit towns and cities from raising the minimum legal age for tobacco sales above the state’s minimum age.
Plastic bag ban: Uncharted waters for West Chester
WEST CHESTER — With borough council possibly acting in direct violation of state law, last Wednesday’s vote to ban single use plastic bags and plastic straws passed by the thinnest of margins.
Council voted 4-3 to enact the ban during July 2020, which will be about a year after the governor signed a ban on municipalities enacting legislation to ban single use plastics and plastic straws. [Emphasis added]
GOA-PA Statement on Mayor Peduto, Mom’s Demand Action Press Conference
“[The] City of Pittsburgh recently passed three, illegal gun-control ordinances in violation of the Pennsylvania firearms preemption law. Mayor Peduto’s call for ending statewide preemption would create a patchwork quilt of confusing laws across the Commonwealth (e.g. in Allegheny County alone there are over 130+ municipalities). Instead, Gun Owners of America calls upon all state legislators to pass SB 531 to strengthen preemption and hold rogue mayors like Bill Peduto accountable for violating the Constitutional rights of citizens.
Old habits die hard, especially in Tennessee
According to the Nashville Scene’s Bill Carey, it all began in 1994 when the Tennessee state legislature was passing a series of laws meant to reduce teen smoking. Tobacco industry lobbyists quietly slid in an amendment effectively preventing local governments from passing “any law or regulation of tobacco products.” The tobacco industry wanted preemption law passed so it wouldn’t have to worry about local ordinances popping up all over the state. For example, if the city of Kingsport passed a law regulating the use of tobacco products, the ordinance would violate state law and be invalid. This in essence handicaps all Tennessee municipalities from exercising local control of tobacco products. [Emphasis added]
United States: Dallas Employees May Not Want To Call In Sick
We previously alerted employers of a new Dallas paid sick-leave ordinance which was scheduled to take effect on August 1, 2019. See our earlier reporting here. After a lawsuit filed on July 30, 2019, Dallas may follow other Texas cities, Austin and San Antonio, in seeing its new ordinance placed on hold.
Local control and jobs
The Osceola Sun, 7/26/2019
In disturbing news, our new State Representative, Gae Magnafici, seems to be stepping right into the same role as her predecessor, Adam Jarchow, by continuing his efforts to thwart local control and decision-making in favor of consolidating power in Madison with one-size-fits-all solutions that don’t work.