First Quarter Report: Municipalities and Grassroots Prevail Against State Preemption Bills Barring Local Breed-Specific Ordinances
During the first quarter of 2015, state preemption bills prohibiting breed-specific ordinances were introduced in five states. In all five states the legislation failed.
Austin, TX April 20, 2015 -- DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, releases initial results of this year's state legislative battles. During the first quarter of 2015, state preemption bills prohibiting local governments from enacting pit bull ordinances were brought in five states: Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Montana and Washington. In all five states the bills failed.1 Grassroots advocates helped make this victory possible.
In 2014, similar state preemption bills were introduced in six states and two passed, a 33% pass rate. This combined 15-month period shows that forces fighting against state preemption bills that interfere with the rights of local governments protecting their citizens in this area are prevailing. In the report, DogsBite.org explains the history of these types of state preemption laws, along with the entities that typically pursue them and those who are harmed by them.
The report discusses two time periods, Wave I and Wave II, when 16 of the 19 states adopted state preemption laws barring local breed-specific ordinances enacted for public safety purposes. The report also provides a compelling chart detailing 35-years of U.S. fatal pit bull attacks in 5-year periods (1980 through 2014), showing that deaths inflicted by pit bulls have increased by 560% since the 5-year period of 1995 through 1999. The CDC last studied this issue in 1998.
Currently, it is estimated that 860 jurisdictions across 37 states in the United States regulate pit bulls, despite 19 states passing these state preemption laws. On a federal level, all three military divisions, the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force, prohibit pit bulls and several other dog breeds on base and privatized housing. Federal and state housing authorities typically prohibit this same small group of breeds. Even a number of Indian reservations have followed suit.
At-risk states in 2016, expected to again face these state preemption bills, include: Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky and Washington. In Georgia and Washington, both bills introduced in 2015 automatically carry over into 2016 (known as "carry-over" bills). State municipal associations, health and safety professionals, grassroots advocates and concerned citizens in all four states need to become aware of these state preemption bills and join in the fight against them.
2015 First Quarter Report: Municipalities and Grassroots Beat Back State Preemption Bills Barring Local Pit Bull Ordinances
DogsBite.org is a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks. Through our work, we hope to protect both people and pets from future attacks. Our website, www.dogsbite.org, was launched in October 2007 and contains a wide collection of data to help policymakers and citizens learn about dangerous dog breeds. Our research focuses on pit bull type dogs. Due to selective breeding practices that emphasize aggression and tenacity, this class of dogs negatively impacts communities the most. Our website hosts important dog bite studies, U.S. dog bite fatalities and other key bibliographies. In the Legislating Dogs portion of our site, we offer examples of breed-specific laws and documentation of the constitutionality of these laws. The Victim Realities section provides a glance into the unforgettable histories victims leave behind and much more. DogsBite.org operates out of Austin, Texas and can be contacted via: 512-650-8510 or . Research contributions and active website participation stems from individuals that span the United States of America and across the world.
- First quarter failed legislation: Arizona Senate Bill 1292; Georgia House Bill 124 and Senate Bill 184; Kentucky Senate Bill 124; Montana Senate Bill 239 and Washington House Bill 1018.