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August 18, 2021 Preemption Watch Newsletter

As state legislatures adjourn for the summer or the session, pressure from special interests builds to preempt local democracy, especially in the cases of firearms and Covid-19. All but seven US states already preempt local authority over firearms and ammunition, so the gun lobby has shifted to promoting ever more extreme forms of preemption. Also known as “super-” (or “punitive”) preemption, the new wave of preemption bills typically imposes severe penalties on local officials and governments for taking any action to prevent gun violence. Preemption has blocked the adoption of effective policies, including owner licensing and firearm registration. Without local policy movements, preemption states can’t maintain the powerful grassroots movements which are necessary to overcome statewide inertia and the pro-gun lobby.

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