January 2016 began with Obama once again making an unconstitutional gun grab, using what he believes to be within his power through executive order. The latest attempt came in a group of executive actions willfully designed to bypass Congress.
There is great news on the state level though, as conservative states are starting to fight back, implementing laws that “nullify” federal gun restrictions. Many states, such as Tennessee, Idaho, Alaska and Kansas, 16 so far, have deliberated on a Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA).
Tennessee has new legislation that prohibits the state from implementing or enforcing any federal gun measures that would “violate the Tennessee state constitution.” This is the first step in future action towards nullifying many current and future federal laws.”
Additional steps can be taken in Tennessee:
- Amend the current law to remove language requiring a judicial determination that a federal act would be counter to the state constitution prior to the state withdrawing support. This would ensure that state participation in federal gun control would end immediately.
- Concurrently introduce new legislation that expressly bans participation in any new federal gun control measure
- Compile a report of federal enforcement actions taken on firearms in Tennessee, highlighting those enforced with the participation of state agencies, and which ones likely violate the new law. From there, state-based gun rights groups can file an injunction to stop state participation under the law already on the books.
In Idaho, a bill was passed in 2014, which banned state enforcement of any “future federal laws and acts relating to firearms.”
This should be the blueprint first step for all states in 2016 and beyond. Idaho can build on this by expanding the ban from future to specific current federal gun control measures, and eventually all of them.
Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence signed a bill which takes a small, but very important step for protecting gun rights.
It repeals the prohibition against manufacturing, importing, selling, or possessing a sawed-off shotgun.” Enforcement of federal restrictions on such weapons rely on participation between state and federal governments. With the new law, Indiana now authorizes what the federal government restricts, and this sets the stage for people to take things further.
Both the House and Senate in Montana passed a SAPA as well, but it was vetoed by Gov. Steve Bullock.
Kansas and Alaska both proactively fight the feds on gun control. They too have laws implemented that allow the opportunity for future action.
In Alaska, HB69 was signed into law in April 2013. It establishes the principle that no state or local agency may use any resources to “implement or aid in the implementation” of any federal acts that infringe on a “person’s right, under the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, to keep and bear arms.”
In Kansas, SB102, the 2nd Amendment Protection Act, was also signed into law in April 2013. It establishes the foundation for a ban on state and local assistance or participation in the enforcement of federal gun measures. It reads, in part:
Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.
Since 2008, more than three-quarters of U.S. states have proposed nullification laws. Over half of this legislation has come “in the last two years after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.” Because of Obama’s tyrannical use of power, states are not willing to sit back and watch the constitution crumble, pro-activity is the best defense.
In a minor legal victory, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Kansas law, saying the suit from the Brady Campaign was “without merit.” While this was a win, it should be noted that the federal court didn’t say that the federal government doesn’t have the power to regulate firearms under the commerce clause, as the Kansas law states. The Brady suit was dismissed for lack of standing.