Anticipating President Obama's announcement regarding gun control today, it appears that three states have already seen new law filed or proposed to outlaw federal gun laws with penalties of jail time involved. Wyoming, then Missouri, and now -- naturally -- Texas is joining the crusade to defy the federal gov't and set up a war (just in the courts, hopefully) over the Supremacy Clause, which sits at the heart of the states' rights controversy.
Here's a local report from Missouri to kick things off...
JEFFERSON CITY - State Rep. Casey Guernsey, R- Bethany, filed legislation Tuesday that would outlaw any federal gun laws in the state of Missouri aimed at banning any kinds of guns from being enforced. It would also make any new gun laws dealing with semi-automatic weapons or magazine size illegal to be enforced in the state of Missouri. House Bill 170 would make it a felony for state or federal law enforcement officers to enforce new federal gun laws and one clause reads:Rep. Guernsey cites a Wyoming law, the "Firearms Protection Bill," as a model for his legislation, and claims bipartisan support, while the Democratic minority leader isn't planning to support it; he seems to find it a crass attempt to score political points. I guess we'll see if it moves beyond grandstanding.
"Any federal law, rule, regulation, or order created or effective on or after January 1, 2013 shall be unenforceable in the state of Missouri if the law, rule, regulation or order attempts to:
(1) Ban or restrict ownership of a semi-automatic firearm or any magazine of a firearm; or
(2) Require any firearm, magazine, or other firearm accessory to be registered in any manner."
Guernsey said he has several co-sponsors of the bill and expects the bill to have bi-partisan support because several Democrats own guns and support gun rights. He also said it's important to have safeguards in place if the federal government passes a law that would ban firearms.
And then there is Texas. I'm thinking, give it time, the Arizona legislature will probably get around to this soon enough...
Texas State Rep. Steve Toth (R-TX), with the apparent support of at least one of Texas’ most powerful politicians, will introduce unconstitutional legislation subjecting federal law enforcement officers to arrest and prosecution if they enforce new gun safety laws in the Lone Star State:Yeah, another "Firearms Protection Act." And yet, not only does Rep. Toth seem to understand the unconstitutional aspect of his proposal, he seems to relish the prospect.
Rather, he told The Chad Hasty Show on Monday that his goal is to undermine the Constitution itself. In Toth’s words, “we want to do everything we can, especially as pertains to the Supremacy Clause. The Supremacy Clause gives the federal government — it basically trumps state law — which is wrong. And we want to do everything we can to undermine that.”So we're up to three states that I can find, perhaps there will be more? Perhaps there are already more, lining up this very minute to copy & paste such legislation into their own state constitutions. Time will tell as to how much these conservatives value the United States of America. Judging from this push to undermine the Supremacy Clause, well...doesn't look good.
The "supremacy clause" is the most important guarantor of national union. It assures that the Constitution and federal laws and treaties take precedence over state law and binds all judges to adhere to that principle in their courts. - United States Senate
The Supremacy Clause only applies if Congress is acting in pursuit of its constitutionally authorized powers. Federal laws are valid and are supreme, so long as those laws were adopted in pursuance of—that is, consistent with—the Constitution. Nullification, is the legal theory that a state has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal law which that state has deemed unconstitutional or exceeds Congresses’ constitutionally authorized powers. The courts have found that under Article III of the Constitution, the final power to declare federal laws unconstitutional has been delegated to the federal courts and that the states therefore do not have the power to nullify federal law.