Barnini Chakraborty ---- Fox News
WASHINGTON – A Washington state-based gun rights group is steadily persuading cities and towns across the country to repeal local firearms regulations and give that power back to the states.
The organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, is working to invalidate city ordinances by arguing that they're in conflict with looser state regulations. So far, it seems to be working. The group says it's been able to overturn more than 100 gun-related ordinances this way, most recently in Utah.
“We’re going state by state, going through every single ordinance of every city and county in every state and finding where the cities and counties have ordinances enacted that are in conflict with state law,” Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the SAF, told FoxNews.com.
Usually this means repealing local ordinances that run afoul of state law which, in turn, gives almost all gun-regulating power to the state. These cities and local communities still have the authority to outlaw someone shooting a gun but not necessarily possessing or carrying them.
“It’s pretty clever,” Florida State University College of Law Professor Franita Tolson told FoxNews.com. “If you can’t change it on a federal level, you attack it on a local level.”
So far, Gottlieb’s group has helped overturn gun rules in nine states, including Illinois, California, North Carolina, New Mexico and Nevada. SAF’s Legal Preemption Project latest target is Utah.
The organization recently mailed letters to 49 municipalities in Utah -- one of the most gun-friendly states in the country. Three years ago, Utah became the first state in the nation to recognize an official state gun -- the M1911 semi-automatic pistol.
That doesn’t matter to SAF.
With the precision of a marksman, the group, which has been called the legal arm of the gun-rights movement, has already gotten several cities in Utah to change their codes.