VA Special Session
Following the mass murder in VA beach where a city employee murdered 12 people, disgraced Virginia governor Ralph Northam announced his intention to “take on” the Republican controlled state legislature by forcing a debate on a package of gun control measures. Included in Northam’s suggested measures are a ban on suppressors, universal background checks, assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and banning firearms in city buildings.
The suppressor ban is pretty shockingly daft, as all the reports from the shooting indicated there were no questions about the presence or location of gunshots. The suppressor did nothing to affect the killer’s lethality, and yet, here we are. The “emergency” special session is set for the 9th of July. The main question is how many Virginia Republicans will bend the knee.
Municipalities Hate State Supremacy
Dovetailing nicely with our continued discussion of the push-and-pull of state vs. local governments, this week the city of Cincinnati joined with other cities in a lawsuit over the state’s new supremacy law, which prevents local governments from setting stricter-than-state gun laws.
Ohio’s House Bill 228 is set to go into effect March 28, and it attempts to prevent overzealous municipalities from making their towns into landmines for gun owners. The city governments argue this violates their home rule authority. This is really a matter of Ohio’s state constitution, but supremacy provisions are commonplace. We’ll find out with time whether this is municipal saber rattling or an actual claim.
In Florida, a Leon County judge heard arguments in a similar challenge to the state’s supremacy clause yesterday. The cities and counties make the profoundly ironic contention that the state supremacy law violates their free-speech rights, as well as separation of powers.
This, of course, completely ignores the fact that Florida’s constitution Article I, § 8(a) provides “The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed[.]” We can expect a ruling in the coming weeks.
Connecticut’s Scared of Ghosts
Joining Washington in the state ghost-hunter club, Connecticut governor Ned Lamont signed into law today two new gun laws. The first is a ban on”ghost guns,” reflecting the typical alarmism surrounding unserialized homemade guns, and the other requires handguns to be locked in a safe which is then locked in the trunk or glove box when the vehicle is parked.
Governor Lamont is expected to sign “Ethan’s law,” regulating the storage of firearms at homes where children might be present, next week.
Delaware’s Safe Storage Law Hits the Books
Today Delaware governor John Carney signed a law similar to “Ethan’s law,” subjecting parents to prison time if firearms are stored in places where minors might access them. As I’ve always said, being safe with firearms around children is important, but blanket prohibitions will only worsen the relationship of police and the people in their precincts. It’s unlikely these laws will have any impact on the incredibly rare incidences of negligent firearm discharges in their respective states.