In the 1970s and 80s, the gun lobby faced the threat of an effective national movement to prevent gun violence. To stop that grassroots movement, the NRA borrowed a page from the tobacco industry’s playbook and promoted state preemption of local gun laws. They succeeded in 43 states, but in the handful of states that have preserved local authority, such as California, grassroots movements have thrived and passed strong gun laws that save lives.
The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence tracks and analyzes state gun laws, including preemption.
In addition to firearms, the Grassroots Change Preemption Map tracks state preemption of seven other public health and safety issues. Click on any one of the eight issues to see which states preempt local control.
Discrimination: State preempton of local LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws
Factory Farms: State preemption of local control over the location and operation of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)
Paid Sick Days: State preemption of local paid (or “earned”) sick days requirements for employees.
E-Cigarettes: State preemption of local ordinances regulating e-cigarettes.
Fire Sprinklers: State preemption of local building or fire codes requiring fire sprinklers in new homes.
Nutrition: State preemption of local authority over nutrition and food policy, ranging from eliminating local control over food and beverage portion sizes to preempting all food, nutrition, and agricultural policies.
Smokefree: State preemption of smokefree ordinances that are stronger than state standards.