The Kentucky state Senate on Monday overwhelmingly passed a nullification bill (SB129) that would prohibit Kentucky from enforcing new federal gun control laws if they’re enacted.
The vote was 34-3. Three of the Senate’s 14 Democrats voted no, stating that the measure would be trumped by the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.
What opponents are missing, however, is the fact that the federal government itself acknowledges that it has NO constitutional authority to force a state to enforce its laws. It often resorts to funding “bribes” to encourage compliance, but it cannot force it. This was upheld by the supreme court multiple times – most notably in the 1997 Printz case and in last Summer’s Obamacare ruling.
The is ZERO serious discussion that the federal government can require the state of Kentucky – or any other state – to enforce its laws.
Sen. Jared Carpenter, a Berea Republican, sponsored the bill. He said the Supremacy Clause applies only if Congress is acting in pursuit of its constitutionally authorized powers, which he said wouldn’t apply to stricter gun measures.
“If I thought the bill would be symbolic, I would’ve written a resolution,” Carpenter told the Associated Press. “I thought it needed more than that.”
The one-page bill deems unenforceable federal bans on gun ownership and registration. It specifically mentions semiautomatic firearms and their magazines.
The bill applies to federal laws as well as federal rules, regulations and orders.
“A friend of mine said to me, ‘Would you be willing to give up a little bit to be safer?’” said Sen. Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville, before he voted yes on the bill. “My answer to that is very simple. No I will not.”
“I should not have to give up a single constitutional right that I have to be safer,” he continued. “Because criminals choose to commit crimes. None of us in this room should have (their Second Amendment rights limited) because criminals commit crimes.”
ACTION ITEMS for Kentucky
1. Contact your state Representative. Strongly, but respectfully, let him or her know that you want them to vote YES on SB129.
contact info here:
2. Encourage your local community to take action as well. Present the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act to your city county, your town council, or your county commissioners. Various local governments around the country are already passing similar resolutions and ordinances. Local legislative action is a great way to strengthen a statewide campaign against 2nd Amendment violations
model legislation here:
3. Share this information widely. Please pass this along to your friends and family. Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state. Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters
LEGISLATION AND TRACKING
If you would like to see model legislation to introduce in your state to nullify federal firearm laws, please see The Tenth Amendment Center’s Model Legislation: The 2nd Amendment Preservation Act.
Track the status of 2nd Amendment preservation legislation in states around the country HERE
ADDITIONAL READING AND RESOURCES
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- James Madison on “Parchment Barriers” and the defense of liberty - September 17, 2014
- New Hampshire: A Hotbed for Liberty - September 1, 2014
- James Monroe writes to Thomas Jefferson on State vs Federal Governments - August 27, 2014