Today, Idaho Governor “Butch” Otter signed House Bill 589 (HB589), the Firearms Freedom Act. The Senate voted 27-7 and the House passed it by a vote of 53-15. Idaho is now the 7th state to pass the act into law, joining Montana, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Arizona.
The bill makes law that guns or ammunition manufactured and sold in Idaho are to be exempt from all federal laws and regulation, including registration requirements – as claimed by D.C. under the power to regulate commerce “among the several states.”
The bill’s primary sponsor, Dick Harwood, told the House that the Idaho Attorney General opined that the bill is unconstitutional, but he said the intent is to force a Supreme Court case that backers hope will limit the scope of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, said, “Let’s move this forward, let’s put the federal government’s back to the wall and ask them to explain why they need to get into commerce between myself and a family member.”
Under Constitutional case law as stands today, everything and anything is considered “interstate commerce” – from growing a plant in your back yard and consuming it in your home to making a choice to not purchase health insurance. Expecting the courts to turn around years of their own rulings is absurd.
If Harwood only wants to force a court case, it’s my opinion that he’s wasting his time. Decades of modern jurisprudence leaves it highly unlikely that the courts will suddenly find the original meaning of the Commerce Clause to be the law of the land.
The question, of course, is this – does Harwood know this or not? If he does, he’s clearly posturing to garner political support. If not, I believe he’s in for a rude awakening – and if he really wants to represent his people and protect their liberty, he’ll need to get a lot more backbone in his efforts.
Either way, passage of this bill is a good step forward for the 10th Amendment movement. At the very least, the more states that pass Firearms Freedom Acts, the more that the proper role of the government under the commerce clause can be brought into the public sphere. And the more we get the conversation going, the closer we’ll get to victory.
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