U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Preemption law reform is moving in Louisiana and becomes effective in West Virginia at the end of May.
As with nearly all states, Louisiana has a statute that preempts local governments from enacting ordinances or regulations which are in conflict with state laws regarding firearms. The idea is that firearms laws should be uniform statewide, so that people exercising their right to keep and bear arms will not be in violation of the law simply by crossing a street from one municipality to another, or one county to another. Some states have rigorous preemption laws, other states have minimal laws.
HB 140 is a bill in the Louisiana legislature that would extend the current preemption law to forbid local governments from banning firearms in certain commercial and public properties.
The effect is to substantially reduce the number of “gun free zones” in Louisiana. From the Abstract of HB 140 legiscan.com:
Present law limits a political subdivision’s authority to enact certain ordinances or regulations involving firearms. In this regard, present law prohibits a governing authority of a political subdivision from enacting any ordinance or regulation that is more restrictive than state law concerning the sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transfer, transportation,license, or registration of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition.
However, present law further provides that this provision of present law does not apply to the authority of political subdivisions to prohibit the possession of a weapon or firearm in certain commercial establishments and public buildings.
Proposed law removes this exception from present law, prohibiting any governing authority of a political subdivision from enacting any ordinance or regulation that is more restrictive than state law concerning the possession of a weapon or firearm in certain commercial establishments and public buildings.
HB 140 has not been voted on yet, but it has made it through the Committee on Criminal Justice in the House. Floor debate on the bill is scheduled for Friday, 22 May, 2020.
Republicans have strong majorities in the Senate 27-12, and in the House, 68-35. Governor Edwards is a Democrat. The Republicans may pass the bill, only to see Governor Edwards veto it.
The history of preemption laws shows a trend to restrict local governments more and more from enacting ordinances and regulations impacting firearms and other weapons. A key strategy of those who want the population disarmed is to enact numerous, contradictory and ever-changing restrictions, so those exercising Second Amendment rights would constantly be uncertain if they are acting legally, or are in violation of an obscure ordinance.
In 2020, on April 14th, the West Virginia Government reformed its preemption law. The West Virginia bill, SB96, now law, adds pepper spray and other deadly weapons, such as knives, to the weapons protected from local government regulation.
Reading the wording carefully, the bill brings most arms under the protection of the preemption law, with the exception of explosive, chemical, biological, or radiological materials.
SB 96 has been signed into law, and becomes effective in West Virginia on 31 May, 2020.
The ultimate in preemption law would be strict enforcement of the Second Amendment.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.