• Jeffrey Zalles

The Problem with Local Gun Control Laws

Soon the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on a proposal to toughen local gun control laws. I am a strong proponent of gun control. I support the Brady Campaign, Everytown, and other organizations committed to the reduction of gun violence. However, when it comes to local laws, I have mixed feelings. Although well-intentioned, these laws serve little purpose other than symbolic, since bad actors need only to cross the county line to obtain guns and ammunition. On the other hand, they play right into the narrative of the NRA and other Second Amendment proponents. How many times have Washington, DC and Chicago been cited by the gun lobby as examples of how strict gun control laws don’t work? What they don’t say is that no matter how many laws are passed in those communities, gun violence continues because more stringent laws do not exist in contiguous counties, neighboring states, and most important of all, at the national level. Do we really want to become another example in the gun lobby’s deceitful rhetoric?