Vermont Bill would Nullify Federal Gun Control

Vermont legislators have joined an ever-growing list of lawmakers in other states willing to stand up for the rights of their citizens, introducing a bill designed to keep federal hands off of firearms manufactured or possessed in the state.

The bill, S. 124, intends to ‘exempt certain firearms and firearm accessories in Vermont from federal regulation and to establish a criminal fine for federal officials who enforce or attempt to enforce a federal law purporting to regulate certain firearms and firearm accessories in Vermont.’

S. 124 was introduced by Senator Rodgers on Feb. 21 and referred to the Committee on Judiciary where it currently awaits further action. Although the bill only protects firearms made and possessed in the state, it is still a huge step in the right direction as it imposes criminal penalties on the feds should they decide to come in and impose their will on those buying, selling, trading or owning Vermont-made firearms.

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Oklahoma Bill Would Nullify Agenda 21

A bill in the Oklahoma House that would nullify United Nations Agenda 21 was passed by the State’s Rights Committee, yet another step in that state’s attempts to resist implementation of the international agreement.  The committee vote was 9-4 (see how representatives voted here)

The bill, HB1412 now has to pass through the House Calendar Committee before it can be brought up for a full vote on the House floor.

The Senate version of the bill, SB23, was introduced December 12, 2012, and referred to the Energy Committee on February 5, 2013.  So far, it has received no votes.  If passed, participation by any state, county or municipal agency in Agenda 21 or its local offshoot, ICLEI, would be prohibited.

HB1412 states, in part:

The state or any political subdivision of the state shall not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe upon or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to United Nations Agenda 21/Sustainable Development and any of its subsequent modifications, a resolution adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and commonly known as the Earth Summit and reconfirmed in its Rio+20 Conference held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Oklahoma Constitution.

Objections to Agenda 21 include a variety of concerns, including the violation of personal property rights, the erosion of state and local authority, and the binding of the United States to international agreements that would violate our Constitution.  

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California Bill Would Nullify Drone Spying

They’re coming. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as they’re otherwise called, have been cleared to use the public airspace since the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act passed last year. It is now up to the states to integrate this emerging technology with handouts to pay for them from the Department of Homeland Security. In California, Assembly members Jeff Gorell, a Republican, and Steven Bradford, a Democrat, have teamed up to severely limit the use of drones by state and local law enforcement as well as private individuals.

AB 1327, similar to the Privacy Protection Act, stipulates when a warrant is required:

9 (b)  A law enforcement agency may use an unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, if it has a reasonable expectation that the unmanned aircraft system will collect evidence relating to criminal activity and if it has obtained a warrant based on probable cause pursuant to this code.
(c)  A law enforcement agency, without obtaining a warrant, may use an unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, in emergency situations, including, but not limited to, fires, hostage crises, and search and rescue operations on land or water.

The bill goes on to limit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by private persons as well:

14354.  (a) A person or entity, other than a public agency subject to Section 14350 or a person or entity under contract to a public agency, for the purpose of that contract, shall not use an unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, for the purpose of surveillance of another person without that person’s consent.

In other states where varying anti-drone bills are introudced, hobbyists of first person viewer (FPV) unmanned aircraft have voiced concern in online forums over infringements on their rights. The fear is that requiring the consent of any person being surveilled would make personal use of this technology all but impossible.

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Fayette County Tennessee Commission Passes Second Amendment Preservation Resolution

FAYETTE COUNTY, Tenn. (Feb. 28, 2013) – The Fayette County, Tenn. County Commission passed its Second Amendment Enforcement Resolution on Tuesday.

The resolution condemns any violations of the Second Amendment, declares them unconstitutional, and therefore null and void. It also calls on the Sheriff  to take all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal acts, laws, orders, rules, or regulations in violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In addition, the county calls on the state legislature to adopt and enact any and all measures that would clarify the sheriff’s duty and responsibility to defend the citizens of the State of Tennessee against infringement by the federal government.

The resolution passed overwhelmingly by a 17-2 vote.

It was the second Tennessee County commission to pass a resolution opposing any violations of the Second Amendment in the last two weeks. The Madison County Commission passed its resolution on Feb, 19.

Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center indicate a number of other Tennessee counties will consider similar resolutions.

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Round Two for Tennessee’s SB250

On Wednesday, SB250 testimony continued from last week’s committee hearing on the 19th. Last week’s committee meeting was delayed for an opinion for the State’s Attorney General. The Attorney General’s opinion. See citings from the Attorney General in the link to his opinion.

“Tennessee lacks authority to render them ineffective within its borders, for the States are not “free to nullify for their own people the legislative decisions that Congress has made on behalf of all the People.” While the Bills themselves declare that certain federal firearms regulations are unconstitutional as, for example, by exceeding the scope of the commerce power, see SB250 § 2, the responsibility for that determination rests with the judiciary, not a state legislature. Absent such a judicial determination—and SB250 lists “judicial opinions” among the “federal action” that it proscribes, SB § 1—federal law is effective in Tennessee. “If the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery . . . .” “No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it”. Nor may a state legislature accomplish the nullification of federal firearms regulation indirectly, either by criminalizing the activities of federal officers or by criminalizing actions of state citizens, such as firearm dealers, who have enforcement obligations under federal law, since to do so would make compliance with both federal and state regulations impossible. In either instance, the Bills’ provisions would directly threaten to frustrate federal policy objectives and to impair the ability of federal actors to carry them out. Consequently, the Bills violate the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.”

The committee meeting started off with Senator Kelsey talking about the history of nullification in a long drawn out speech that looked more like an effort to waste time than inform. After which, Senator Kelsey asked for speakers to be introduced in a testimony in favor of SB250.

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