Washington Mayor: Local Governments Should Be Able To Ban Guns ‘As Easily As Smoking’

EDMONDS, Wash. – Some people missed out on civics class in school and it shows!

In a phone interview reported by Oregonlive.com last week, Edmonds, Washington Mayor Mike Nelson lamented that state law ties the hands of local governments, not allowing them to enact their own restrictions on guns.

Nelson went on to indicate that they cities should have as much right to place restrictions on guns as they do smoking in a public park.

“On the one hand we can prohibit someone from smoking in a park, but we can’t prohibit them from bringing a handgun into a playground,” Nelson said. “Does that make sense?”

The comments came on the heels of a unanimous Washington state Supreme Court decision overturning a 2018 ordinance by the City of Edmonds, located north of Seattle.

The ordinance required that residents lock up their guns or face civil fines upwards of $10,000 if an at-risk person or child gained access to an unsecured firearm,  The Seattle Times reported at the time.

The court ruled that the ordinance was pre-empted by state law.

Oregonlive.com reported that a statewide ballot measure on ‘gun safety’ that was passed in 2018 does not require that a firearm be stored in a particular way or place but did create criminal penalties if a gun that wasn’t stored fell into the hands someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

“Under our system of divided government, many elected bodies hold legislative power, including elected city councils. These councils, however, must legislate within constitutional constraints,” Chief Justice Steven González wrote, as reported by Oregonlive.com “One of those constraints is that city ordinances must not ‘conflict with general laws’ that have been enacted by the people of our state by initiative or by our state legislature.”

Mayor Nelson, who claims to be a gun-owner, lambasted the decision claiming that state statute was overly broad “tying the hands of all local governments in our state to do anything to protect our citizens,” Oregonlive.com reported. 

OUR TAKE:

Preemption is a concept that only tyrants have a problem with. After all, why wouldn’t state law trump some rogue city council? And further, why wouldn’t the Constitution trump any state law?

Imagine the patchwork of laws that would change every time you entered a new county or city as you travel across the country?

This is just common sense — the very thing the left is always yelling about when it comes to guns.

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