If there is one thing you have to give to the Second Amendment crowd, it is that they have unparalleled tenacity and determination. Nothing will sway their conviction that the Second guarantees them the right to own any weapon in any configuration or amount that they want and that the government has no right to know what they do own.
The Republicans in the Missouri legislature think that they have found the way to get around federal gun regulations — all they have to do is make it a crime for a federal law enforcement officer to enforce federal gun laws in their state.
Of course this tactic has been used and failed before, the courts have consistently held that these laws are invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution (Article VI clause 2).
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
Montana passed a law in 2009 prohibiting federal regulation of firearms manufactured in the state as long as they remained in the state which was struck down by a federal Appeals Court last year, and a similar law in Kansas drew criticism from Attorney General Eric Holder.
This time though, they think that they have found a way around it, they only have to get enough other states to join them and the federal government won’t be able to stand up to all of them. They seem to think that there is safety in numbers and that is not always the case, the Constitution doesn’t say that federal law trumps state law unless several states make the same law, it says that federal law always trumps state law when they conflict.
Last year the legislature passed a similar law only to have it vetoed by governor Jay Nixon (D), this time around they have a law that won’t take effect until January 2017. The delay is to give like minded states time to enact their own laws to nullify federal gun laws.
“We continue to see the federal government overreach their rightful bounds,” said Republican Senator Brian Nieves, “and if we can create a situation where we have some unity among states, then I think it puts us in a better position to make that argument.”
Supporters of the measure are optimistic, Republican Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey had this to say,”This can’t be just a Missouri effort. There has to be a groundswell of support by the people — by other states as well — in order for us ultimately to be successful.”
Under the proposed law federal agents seeking to enforce a law which has been determined to be “infringements on the right to keep and bear arms” can face a misdemeanor charge which could be punishable by as much as a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. ‘
The bill makes no reference to any specific laws but it does mention taxes and fees levied only on firearms as well as tracking requirements which have a “chilling effect” on gun ownership.
Democrats are expected to oppose the bill as a waste of the legislature’s time and taxpayer dollars.
“The state will never trump federal laws,” St. Louis Democrat Senator Jamilah Nasheed said. “It is again another right wing Republican attempt to go Second Amendment crazy.”
h/t: Opposing Views