Missouri’s House Representative, Chrissy Sommer has filed a bill called the Intrastate Commerce Act or HB 181. This bill was filed along with HB 162 which is Missouri’s Firearms Freedom Act. These two bills go hand-in-hand. While the Firearms Freedom Act upholds the Federal Government to it limited Constitutional powers to not infringe on the the right to bear arms, the Intrastate Commerce Act of Missouri reaffirms that a state is in control of the commerce that happens within the state while the federal government is only limited to regulating the commerce between states.
This bill states, “All goods produced or manufactured, whether commercially or privately, within the boundaries of this state that are held, maintained, or retained within the boundaries of this state shall not be deemed to have traveled in interstate commerce and shall not be subject to federal law, federal regulation, or the authority of the Congress of the United States under its constitutional power to regulate commerce. This section shall apply to goods that are manufactured within this state from basic materials or parts. The authority of the Congress of the United States to regulate interstate commerce in basic materials or parts shall not include the authority to regulate goods manufactured within this state from such materials or parts.”
The Constitution states, “The Congress shall have power… to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes…The Congress shall have Power…to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” Robert Natelson notes in The Original Constitution that there are misconceptions of the commerce clause in the Constitution, that the regulation of commerce is not exclusively enumerated to Congress and that commerce did not include everything under the sun. The states still have immense power to regulate commerce within their own state and even with foreign nations.
Natelson writes, “Federalists repeatedly represented that the Constitution would leave the states as the sole government regulators of the vast majority of human actives. They affirmed that the central government would have almost no role over…use of personal property outside commerce, wills and inheritance, business regulation and licensing, manufacturing” and others.
Also Natelson writes, “The Constitution banned states from imposing duties on imports or exports without the consent of Congress…otherwise, states were free to regulate commerce with foreign nations–and even to impose embargoes on goods from outside–subject to preemption by Congress or by federal treaties.”
The reason HB 181 and 162 go hand-in-hand is because the cry for gun control unleashes the federal government out of bounds of its limited duties. Senator Feinstein of California published legislation that is purely unconstitutional and infringes on the states rights to regulate commerce within its own boundaries.
Feinstein’s bill reads, “It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon….It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
Further on it reads, “Beginning on the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, it shall be unlawful for any person who is not licensed under this chapter to transfer a grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon to any other person who is not licensed under this chapter, unless a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer has first taken custody of the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon for the purpose of complying with subsection (s). Upon taking custody of the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon, the licensee shall comply with all requirements of this chapter as if the licensee were transferring the grandfathered semiautomatic assault weapon from the licensee’s inventory to the unlicensed transferee.
In The Original Constitution, Natelson writes that the Founders, denied Congress the power to regulate those other activities (manufacturing and commerce) directly, except in the unusual situation in which regulating another activity qualified as an incidental power (necessary and proper clause).” He concludes, “Among the activities listed as within the exclusive sphere of the states were…manufacturing; other business enterprises…conveyancing; property outside of interstate trade; commerce wholly within state lines…”
Representative Sommer is standing with the Constitution and the sovereignty of the state of Missouri. The Constitution concludes that the manufacturing and commerce of firearms, ammo, and accessories are to be regulated by the state, and that conveyance of property (transferring a firearm) falls under the responsibility of the State and not the Federal Government.
To help get this bill to a committee please contact your state legislature here.
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If you are not a Missouri resident, and you want to introduce legislation to your state on an Intrastate Commerce Act, please visit the Tenth Amendment Center’s Model Legislation page here.
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