A look back at some of what state legislatures worked on in August related to guns, alcohol, marijuana, drugs, policing and litigation, and the environment
A number of blue states passed laws this year to create court orders which bar a person from owning or possessing a firearm. They all have substantial variation from State to State. In some cases, only law enforcement can file petitions for court orders to seize a person’s guns. In others, anyone a person has ever dated can make the request.
Lawmakers in many states have introduced bills which would make it illegal to possess devices which accelerate semi-automatic rate of fire, though each approach to the subject takes a slightly different angle. Definitions and specific devices that would be banned vary in each case. Some are more expansive, covering any accessory which has the potential to accelerate rate-of-fire. Others only ban a few specific items.
One question I’ve been hearing more lately in the wake of recent shootings at bars, nightclubs and music festivals is whether its legal to carry a concealed weapon into those places for protection. As usual with these questions, the answer is “it varies”.
While alcohol and firearms don’t mix, there are plenty of people who go to concerts, shows and other venues where alcohol is served without drinking. Designated drivers immediately come to mind. How each state addresses these situations is influenced by several types of laws.
Someone loses gun rights for a first DUI in Massachusetts, but can possess pounds of marijuana without facing this risk. Yet in Arizona one can basically never lose your gun rights for a simple DUI no matter how habitually convicted, while possession of any amount of marijuana there will trigger this loss.
Normally federal law applies to all states and localities with no exceptions. However, there are many examples of where states have passed legislation directly contradicting federal law. While the federal government has the power to intervene and enforce their laws at any time, they have not taken much action for a few key laws.