There is an urban/rural variation to gun deaths, with the highest firearm death rates being found in core metropolitan counties. These geographic variations in the severity of a significant public health problem suggest that regulation designed to address that problem might best be applied at the local level. The history of public health recognizes the effectiveness of home rule, and courts have generally upheld local legislation designed to address local problems. Specifically, courts have upheld local laws designed to reduce gun-related injuries. But recently many states have preempted localities from enacting gun laws, consigning exclusive jurisdiction of this subject to the state legislatures. This is largely the product of lobbying by the National Rifle Association. Such preemption laws represent a step backward for public health.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health