Jefferson City, Mo (May 8, 2013) – Tonight, the Missouri State House voted to send Governor Jay Nixon what could arguably be the strongest defense against federal gun control measures in American history. The vote was 116-38.
HB436, introduced by Representative Doug Funderburk in February, was initially passed by the House in April by a vote of 115-42. Last week, the State Senate approved the bill with an amendment which did not change any of its nullification aspects. The vote there was 26-6. The bill then needed one final vote in the house which happened just before 10pm local time this evening.
The votes in both the House and Senate are by a strong veto-proof majority. Local activist Matt Radcliffe acknowledged as much when he said,
“Governor Nixon can do nothing and it will automatically become law July 1st. Or he can sign it into law. Or he can veto it then his veto will be overridden in the house and it will become law anyway!”
As law, HB436 would nullify virtually every federal gun control measure on the books – or planned for the future. It reads, in part:
All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.
(2) Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:
(a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;
(b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
(c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
(g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.
The legislation also includes misdemeanor criminal penalties if agents of the federal government attempt to enact gun control measures that violate the Constitution of the United States and State Constitution of Missouri.
The immediate effect of the law would be as follows:
1. All state and local law enforcement would be required to stop enforcing, or even providing any assistance in enforcing, federal gun control measures – all of them.
2. Grassroots activists should immediately start pressing local governments – county, city and town – to pass an ordinance which a) states an unwavering dedication to the new law passed, and b) requires all local law enforcement and all government assets to immediately cease in the enforcement of federal gun control measures.
3. Eric Holder will likely send a letter to threaten the state if it decides to enforce the penalty provisions of the act.
4. Other states will gain the courage to follow the lead started by Kansas, and now Missouri – and pass similar laws.
LEGAL INFORMATION ON REFUSING TO ENFORCE
There is absolutely ZERO serious dispute about the fact that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states to carry out its laws. None. Even the Supreme Court has affirmed this multiple times.
In the 1992 case, New York v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.
In the 1997 case, Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not command state law enforcement authorities to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers.
In the 2012 case, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court ruled that a significant expansion of Medicaid was not a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, as it would coerce states to either accept the expansion or risk losing existing Medicaid funding.
In each of these cases, the Supreme Court made is quite clear that their opinion is that the federal government cannot require the states to act, or even coerce them to act through a threat to lose funding. Their opinion is correct. If the feds pass a law, they can sure try to enforce it if they want. But the states absolutely do NOT have to help them in any way.
LEGISLATION AND TRACKING
Track the status of firearms freedom acts in states around the country at this link:
Encourage your State, County, City and Town to introduce legislation to protect your right to keep and bear arms today. Model legislation here: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/2nd-amendment-preservation-act/
Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on twitter – @michaelboldin, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook.