The school shooting in Newtown, Conn., jump-started a renewed national conversation about gun control – and many urgent calls to action. Local lawmakers are entering the fray, though options are often limited because many states preempt local governments from regulating firearms.

Forty-two states have strong preemption laws that prohibit cities and counties from passing laws to regulate firearms. Only Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey are preemption exempt, while preemption laws in California and Nebraska allow some opportunity for broad regulation.

Despite state preemption, "a lot of positive change can start at the local level," says Benjamin Van Houten, managing attorney at San Francisco's Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Read the entire story in American City & County, our sister publication.