Local gun control
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Washington’s ban on handgun ownership by residents of the nation’s capital is unconstitutional. Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty said in a statement that the city will continue to enforce its other gun-control ordinances, and the Supreme Court specifically states that the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms is subject to limitation.
American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-mail newsletter if local governments should be allowed to restrict handgun ownership. Below are some of the responses.
“I don’t believe local government should be able to restrict gun ownership, use or carry. I recently retired as a police lieutenant after 32 years of service. From my experience, gun control is ineffective. The majority of people own and use firearms safely and have no intent on using one in an illegal manner. On the other hand, those affiliated with gangs and other groups that operate outside of the law are frequently using firearms illegally.”
— James Barger, First Assistant Fire Chief, Verona, Wis.
“When the founding fathers drafted the Second Amendment, they were thinking about militias. They even said so. Since militias were local in nature, then the regulation of handguns should be left up to local governments.”
— Dave Hardison, Orange County, Fla., Management and Budget Administrator
“Absolutely, [local governments should be able to restrict handgun ownership]. Properly drafted and vetted legislation should still be in place or go forward [despite] last week’s ruling. All the bans in the country [will not] amount to much practically when, as we have seen in [some instances], crazed individuals [decide to] wreak havoc or revenge or whatever sick notion caused them to use a gun. [A gun-ownership restriction] can’t forestall the tragic results, but it might deter or diminish what James Brady [and other gunshot victims] have been living with or what families have had to endure when their loved ones do not come [home as the result of a crime].”
— Jay Gsell, Genesee County, N.Y., manager