On February 2nd, Kansas State Representative Merrick, along with 13 co-sponsors, introduced House Bill 2620 (H2620), the “Firearms Freedom Act.” Yesterday, the Kansas House passed it by a vote of 95-27. It now goes on to the state senate for further consideration.
If passed into law, the bill would make law that “a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce.”
So far, 5 other states have passed a version of the Firearms Freedom Act into law – Montana and Tennessee in 2009, and South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming this year. More than 20 other states are also considering the act as well.
While the FFA’s title focuses on federal gun regulations, it has far more to do with the 10th Amendment’s limit on the power of the federal government:
The tenth amendment to the constitution of the United States guarantees to the states and their people all powers not granted to the federal government elsewhere in the constitution and reserves to the state and people of Kansas certain powers as they were understood at the time that Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861. The guaranty of those powers is a matter of contract between the state and people of Kansas and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Kansas in 1859 and the United States in 1861.
The regulation of intrastate commerce is vested in the states under the ninth and tenth amendments to the constitution of the United States.
The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned. Implied in such legislation is that the state apparatus will enforce the act against all violations – in order to protect the liberty of the state’s citizens.
All across the country, activists and state-legislators are pressing for similar legislation, to nullify specific federal laws within their states.
A proposed Constitutional Amendment to effectively ban national health care will go to a vote in Arizona in 2010. Fourteen states now have some form of medical marijuana laws – in direct contravention to federal laws which state that the plant is illegal in all circumstances. And, massive state nullification of the 2005 Real ID Act has rendered the law null and void in most of the country.
CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s printable Firearms Freedom Act Brochure (pdf)
CLICK HERE to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s Firearms Freedom Act Legislative Tracking Page