On Tuesday, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed Kentucky SB 150 into law. This bill extends constitutional carry into Kentucky to concealed carry. Prior to SB 150, Kentucky limited constitutional carry to open carry. As a result, the list of constitutional carry states now rises to 16.
Dane Larsen | @_danebailey
The state of Oregon is working to mandate particular forms of rent control. This includes a cap on annual rent increase, and provide residential protection to citizens. The rent control bill passed the Oregon state Senate vote on February 12th and the House vote on February 26th. It will now be passed on to Governor Kate Brown (D), who has already expressed her support for SB 608.
“I look forward to signing the bill into law,” -Governor Brown
Josh Hughes | United States
The Libertarian Party has proven that on the federal level, it is largely inept and incapable of winning elections. In fact, it has not had much success at the state level, either. The 2016 and 2018 elections were a huge opportunity for the party growth, but both were a flop. The national party is a mess without a clear leader or strong candidates. Many state parties are suffering from the same dilemma. Rather than wasting time and resources on national elections, the libertarian party needs to think local. Libertarians can not only have a better chance of success in local elections but also can do the most good for libertarianism.
The Impact of Libertarians in Local Government
It is true that many local level seats are largely nonpartisan. “What difference does it make if a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian is in charge of zoning regulations?” one may ask. The Libertarian party desperately needs elected officials in local government, before they can dream about a Libertarian in the Oval Office.
City Council and Mayors Office
When it comes to the partisan seats, Libertarians can be very instrumental. The mayor and city councilmen control a lot of what happens in terms of city taxes and spending. Libertarians on a city councilor in a mayors office can lower local sales tax. They can also promote small business operation within their jurisdiction. They can decide what major projects the city will invest in. In some rare instances, cities can even decide whether to prosecute certain crimes. An example of such would be Baltimore recently deciding to not prosecute marijuana possession cases. Cities also have the power to decide what the minimum wage will be in the city. Combatting the left-wing cries for raising minimum wages, city by the city could be instrumental to the liberty movement. There are many things that local governments do that impact the everyday lives of citizens.
Of course, growing their presence in state Assemblies and Senate could prevent either party from passing big spending bills. They could even form coalitions with liberty leaning members of either party to pass libertarian legislation. Peoples’ lives are much more directly impacted by local and state governments then they are the federal government.
Looking To The Future
The Libertarian Party is not going to win any big elections in the near future. The next few years should be a period of rebuilding for the party, where they can develop a unified platform and leadership. It will also be a good time for them garner more support from the average American, who is currently facing a very polarized and divided nation. If the Libertarian Party wants to experience success in the coming years, it is important that they become more involved in local level politics, as well as work to gain the respect and trust of the average voter. You can’t win the presidency overnight, but you can certainly grow the movement in local governments, state legislatures, up to the House, up to the Governor’s office, the Senate, and then maybe one day, the White House.
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Tom DiGennaro | United States
New York Democrats passed the states first gun control package since the SAFE Act of 2013 on January 26th, 2019. 30 day waiting periods, bump stock ban, prohibition of teachers carrying in schools, and red flag laws were passed through the state legislature.
New York’s state government is under one-party control. Democrat Andrew Cuomo is in the governor’s mansion and a Democrat majority controls both the state assembly and senate. This democratic-run state government passed all six gun control bills bought to the floor. Most notably is the red-flag law and the dangers associated with the passage of such legislation.
Red Flag Laws
Red flag laws allow family members, school officials or law enforcement to go to a judge, who then can order confiscation of firearms or halt the purchase of. Due process will not be afforded to those subject to such legal interjections.
This type of government power is incredibly dangerous; it is unclear how far the government will go in infringing upon rights, but this gives them the immense potential to do so.
Emotion Clouds Judgement
This yet another example of the all-to-familiar trading of liberties for securities. Obviously, incidents, where there are fatalities as a result of gun violence, are tragic. However, far too often emotion clouds judgment. The mother of a victim of the Parkland shooting appeared alongside Governor Cuomo. “Parkland would’ve never happened if they had a red flag law”, she claims.
Emotion is fueling this fear and hatred of firearms that led to this legislation passing through the state legislature. More often than not, those who fear firearms and advocate for gun control know next to nothing about basic firearm safety. Most have never even held one. And a vast majority fails to understand both the implications of the power red flag laws give the government, as well as the ineffectiveness of such regulations to curbing gun violence. Ignorance breeds fear, and fear breeds hate.
This set of regulations is the first time New York has introduced and passed gun laws since the SAFE Act that followed the Sandy Hook shooting six years ago. With a Democrat-controlled state government, you can bet the next set of gun regulations and stripping of due process will be coming in the near future.
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