Gun sales and gun violence spiked over the last year, and law enforcement officers across the country have been fighting on the frontlines of both the COVID-19 and gun violence public health crises. But according to reporting by the Associated Press, Republican lawmakers in a number of states are moving forward on extreme legislation to nullify federal gun laws and punish law enforcement for helping to enforce federal gun laws and working with federal counterparts. The bills are widely opposed by law enforcement and hinder their ability to combat gun violence in their communities.
According to the AP (emphasis added),
“Legislation in at least a dozen states seeks to nullify any new restrictions, such as ammunition limits or a ban on certain types of weapons. Some bills would make it a crime for local police officers to enforce federal gun laws.
That can create confusion for officers who often work with federal law enforcement, said Daniel Isom, a former chief of the St. Louis Police Department who is now a senior advisor for Everytown for Gun Safety. Federal law plays a big role in some areas, such as keeping guns away from domestic violence offenders.
Putting local officers in a position to decide which laws to enforce is the last thing police need at a time when cities such as St. Louis are experiencing a rise in violent crime, Isom said.
‘This has been an extremely challenging year for both communities and law enforcement, and to ask any more mental strain on officers at this point in time seems to be quite displaced,’ he said. Gun sales also have set monthly records nationwide since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Several states passed similar laws under then-president Barack Obama, although judges have ruled against them in court. Most of the latest crop of federal nullification proposals focus on police officers inside their states who primarily enforce state rather than federal laws.
….Any [federal gun safety] measures likely to pass would have broad support, like background checks on all gun sales, said Everytown President John Feinblatt.”
Read the full piece here. To speak with former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom, a policy expert, or a Moms Demand Action volunteer please don’t hesitate to reach out.