In one of those things that can only come out of a Conservative Senate, the state of Missouri today began movement on how to resist federal laws.
But before the president's plan even reaches Congress, a Missouri lawmaker wants to make sure parts of it can't be enforced in Missouri and make it a felony to do so.If you follow the federal law, you'll be guilty of a felony.
Rep. Casey Guernsey, R-Bethany, believes the president could use executive order to restrict access to firearms.
Guernsey wants Missouri to be exempt from any federal gun control law. He says that is punishing the people who own and use guns responsibly.
Guernsey got the idea from Wyoming lawmakers who have taken up a measure that says the federal government cannot take away a state's rights for its citizens to bear arms.
In his bill, Guernsey says it be unlawful for Missouri authorities or firearms dealers to enforce any federal law relating to a personal gun or accessories.
They would be guilty of a Class D felony.
"This legislation needs to be enacted, and I think other states need to as well ... to assert their 10th Amendment rights for self government and being independent on issues that are not for control of the federal government and certainly gun control is not one of those issues," Guernsey said.
This follows moves by the state of Wyoming to move in the same direction.
State Rep. Kendell Kroeker (R-Evansville) has put forward a bill making it a felony to enforce in Wyoming any federal ban on assault weapons or high-capacity gun magazines, two proposals that Biden's gun control task force is likely to present to President Barack Obama on Tuesday. The task force's recommendations, of course, would have to be passed by Congress and signed by Obama in order to become law.But there is a difference in the Missouri legislation, instead of threatening to imprison federal agents, they will instead threaten gun store owners and sellers who follow the federal law.
Kroeker said his bill, which would hit federal agents with up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine for attempting to enforce such bans in Wyoming, is designed to be proactive in preserving gun rights.
Whether the Right or Left wants to openly admit this or not - and some may find it hyperbolic - the creation of a nation in which states move to make themselves exempt from federal law is in all ways a confederacy, and not a union. Equal and full enforcement of the federal law in all states on a uniform basis is the key component to avoiding the creation of patchwork laws that symbolize fiefdoms and domains.
When states themselves move to enact laws that tell the federal government it has no grounds to enforce the law, they are by default telling the government that they believe they have confederate powers that allow them to determine the laws.
This is a dangerous, dangerous precedent that extends far beyond Guns or any issue.
Pass the laws, Missouri, Wyoming. And basically tell the rest of the nation you've decided you are above the constitution division of powers and stand alone. It's not a direct declaration of independence, but in action it has similar effect.
Imagine a state that said: "We are voting to prevent integration, although the federal government says yes. We'll stay for the tax dollars, we're just not going to enforce the law and we will arrest those who do follow the law."
Renounce the federal laws, Missouri Republicans. You can say whatever you want, but doing it has all the trappings of secession. And your Republican base knows it.