In Colorado, El Paso County Commissioners Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution preemptively rejecting any potential gun control legislation by the Obama administration. It’s the 2nd local government in the country to have done so.
Dozens of supporters spoke in favor of the resolution, authored by Commissioner Peggy Littleton. “The County Commissioners and the Sheriff, as duly-elected officials sworn to uphold our oath of office, will protect the 2nd Amendment rights of people, even if our Federal government tries to come in and take those away from us,” Littleton said.
The resolution reads, in part:
the County of El Paso, State of Colorado, WILL uphold the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and WILL act in conformity with our sworn duties as duly elected officials charged with public trust, and WILL, in conjunction with prior decisions by the United States Supreme Court, NOT enforce any statutes, edicts, Presidential Directives, or other regulations and proclamations which conflict—and are expressly preempted by—the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings.
The decision to stand for their oath is a good one. The basis, though, is a bit convoluted as it appears to indicate that the oath is to decisions made by the Supreme Court. While they’ve got a good leg to stand on, for now, in that the Court previously ruled in Printz v United States that the federal government cannot compel states or localities to enforce federal acts – a new court decision could change that at anytime.
If one were to move things around a bit and rework this section of the resolution to be stronger constitutionally, it could read something like this:
the County of El Paso, State of Colorado, WILL uphold the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and WILL act in conformity with our sworn duties as duly elected officials charged with public trust, and WILL, in conjunction with prior decisions by the United States Supreme Court, NOT enforce any statutes, edicts, Presidential Directives, or other regulations and proclamations – including Supreme Court rulings – which conflict with the Constitution of the United States
CLICK HERE to read the full text of the resolution.
All in all, a good first step for El Paso County, Colorado.
The 2nd step, though, is where the County takes a wrong turn. The resolution continues with:
the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners calls upon the United States Congress and the Colorado General Assembly to recognize the multitudes of existing laws related to the manufacture, sale and possession of firearms, and acknowledge that in order to combat gun violence, the Country must enforce existing laws and more effectively punish and deter those who commit these crimes.
As far as the 2nd amendment goes, the federal government has zero authority – zero – to make any laws “related to the manufacture, sale and possession of firearms.” Period. So by calling upon Congress to enforce them is the same as calling on Congress to enforce any new gun laws. They’re all patently unconstitutional.
So while I’d applaud the motive – and I’m pretty confident that Littleton is one of the good guys – I think it’s important for those living in El Paso to remind their county commissioners that although it’s good that the county won’t enforce anything new on firearms – they should at very least not be encouraging anyone to more vigorously violate the Constitution. We’ve had enough of that.
Residents there are encouraged to send in this article to help explain further: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2ndamendment/
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