Colorado Sets the Example for Tougher State Gun Laws

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Colorado has become the first state in the country to overturn its preemption law preventing its cities from enacting stricter gun regulations, reports Pew Stateline. Forty-two other states have laws stopping local governments from enforcing strict gun restrictions.  The Colorado measure, signed into law in June 2021, also allows universities to make decisions about firearms on their campuses. Only California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey and New York—and now Colorado—allow local governments to pass gun ordinances that are tighter than state restrictions.

Some Democratic lawmakers in the other 42 states, frustrated by inaction, are considering whether to follow Colorado and overturn their preemption laws. In recent years, states such as Arizona and Florida have expanded their preemption laws to strip localities of state funding or lob hefty fines if municipalities pass new restrictive gun ordinances, as proponents argued for consistency of gun laws throughout the state. Supporters of preemption laws argue that they ensure everyone in a state is equal under the law and that local ordinances that go beyond state law can unwittingly punish law-abiding gun owners.

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