The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last week against local gun control laws does not put any city of Madison ordinances at risk. That's because its ordinances were shot down 15 years ago by the state Legislature.
"By state law, Madison's ordinances cannot be more stringent than the state regulation of guns," says City Attorney Michael May. "There are several provisions of Madison's ordinances in chapter 25 that are rendered ineffective by that state law. But it is the state law, not the Supreme Court decision, that impacts them, and has for some time."
Actually since 1995, when the Legislature passed its preemption statute, 66.0409, in direct response to Madison's enactment of city bans on assault weapons, snub-nosed pistols, expanding bullets and carrying loaded weapons. All of these bans, as well as the city's rule against selling handguns, were felled by this change.
All that's left to roll back would be any rules or restrictions imposed by the state. Do any even exist?
"I'm not intimately familiar with the gun control laws of Wisconsin," May replies. "But a brief check shows a state law imposing a waiting period to purchase handguns (sec. 175.35) and a restriction on possession by a number of classes of persons such as convicted felons and persons subject to domestic abuse restraining orders (sec. 941.29), together with about 30 other references in the index of the statutes.
"I would not be surprised if advocates of Second Amendment rights begin bringing court actions around the country to test the limits of the 'reasonable' restrictions that the Supreme Court said are still allowed."
Gun nuts, to the barricades! Ready. Fire. Aim.