Later On

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Tracing the movement to nullify Federal gun laws

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The fight against the US government seems to be widespread. Eric Lach reports at TPMMuckraker:

On Jan. 11, five days before President Barack Obama unveiled 23 executive actions he intended to to take to reduce gun violence, Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) announced that he was working on a firearms measure of his own.

“I am currently having legislation drafted that is similar to firearm legislation recently introduced in Wyoming,” Metcalfe wrote in a memorandum sent to his fellow House members. “My legislation would prohibit the enforcement of any new federal restriction, prohibition or registration requirement for firearms, magazines, and ammunition. My legislation would also require the state to intercede on behalf of Pennsylvania citizens against any federal attempt to register, ban or restrict the purchase or ownership of firearms and firearms accessories which are currently legal products.”

Metcalfe is one of many. Over the last several weeks, he and Republican lawmakers nationwide have introduced bills addressing firearms, the Second Amendment, and federal power. The bills are a response to President Barack Obama and Democrats’ renewed interest in gun control measures, which itself is a response to the December mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

At least 20 states have had some kind of firearm-related legislation recently introduced or currently pending: Texas, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Nebraska, New Mexico, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Iowa, Indiana, and Montana.

The language in the bills differs from state to state (and some states have seen several different bills proposed), as do some of the particulars. But the message and general thrust of the bills are the same: the lawmakers are telling the federal government to back off on guns.

“Our government and our legislature is not in place to simply do the bidding of the federal government,” Missouri state Rep. Casey Guernsey (R) told TPM in an interview. “That is not the function of a state. And there is an ability and a right, an inherent right, of states to protect [their] citizens when the federal government becomes overreaching.”

On Jan. 15, Guernsey introduced HB 170, which among other things would make it a class D felony for any federal official or agent to enforce or attempt to enforce any federal law or regulation on a firearm owned or manufactured in the state that remains “exclusively within the borders of the state.” It’s an idea contained in a number of other bills.

Asked what he imaged it would look like if Missouri were to, for instance, prosecute an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Guernsey said that “hopefully, it would look like a very strong statement on the part of state government.”

While these bills have come all at once, lawmakers and professionals who are tracking the bills said there is no publicly identified group organizing or coordinating the efforts. Jon Griffin, a policy associate with the National Conference of State Legislatures who has been keeping a list of recent firearms bills, told TPM the bills did not appear to be particularly uniform.

Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm (R), for one, told TPM that a constituent had pointed him to model legislation prepared by The Tenth Amendment Center, a think tank which supports “the principles of strictly limited government.” (The center has prepared a model “2nd Amendment Preservation Act,” which serves to “prevent federal infringement on the right to keep and bear arms,” and maintains a map tracking which states have introduced similar bills.) Dahm said he liked the center’s model bill, but he “wanted to add some other things.”

On Jan. 16, Dahm introduced SB 548, which reads, in part: . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 January 2013 at 1:09 pm

Posted in Government, Guns, Law

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