The City of Bellingham is preparing to debate a coronavirus inspired gun ban against the state’s preemption law. Preemption law bans local authorities from enacting their gun control legislation to prevent the proliferation of such laws. The council will vote on a declaration that prohibits the sale, distribution, or possession of guns in the entire city.
The executive order will also direct the closure of all gun shops within the city limits as a response to the coronavirus epidemic. Contravention of such law will amount to a misdemeanor charge. The order is expected to be an amendment of the Emergency Services Council, which proponents claim will allow the city council to respond efficiently to emergencies.
The order restricts firearms under three provisions:
“5. An order requiring the discontinuance of the sale, distribution, or giving away of firearms and/or ammunition for firearms in any or all parts of the city;”
“7. An order requiring the closure of any or all business establishments where firearms and/or ammunition for firearms are sold or otherwise dispensed;…”
“9. An order prohibiting the carrying or possession of firearms or any instrument which is capable of producing bodily harm and which is carried or possessed with the intent to use the same to cause such harm;”
The City of Edmonds lost a case in the Washington Supreme Court due to the preemption laws. The city had imposed storage requirements for firearms, a decision that came under challenge from gun rights groups. The City of Seattle has a similar pending case, which will be determined on violation of preemption laws.
State Senator Doug Erickson, R-Whatcom County, warned that people were not going to surrender their rights to self-defense. Bellingham City falls under his authority. Erickson indicated that firearms used for self-defense did not qualify as being “possessed with the intent to use the same to cause such harm.” He added that the city should not prevent people from defending themselves during a crisis. Erickson also noted that the language was ambiguous regarding the transportation clause.
“If it gets bad enough to enact these suspensions of civil liberties, I can guarantee you that people will not give up their firearms.” Sen. Erickson said.
There are doubts about whether the council members will support an order that openly disarms people as well as violates the state’s gun legislation policy.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.
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