Oklahoma Republican Suppresses Nullification Bill

State Senator Clark Jolley, chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the Oklahoma Senate, suppressed a recent nullification bill there. (On nullification, see StateNullification.com and NullificationFAQ.com.) A friend sent me a copy of his letter to a constituent. It reads, in part: Nullification is simply a fantasy that is the most dangerous type – one semi based in reality. It…


Missouri House to Consider Bill to Nullify All Federal Gun Control

Today, the Missouri State House Rules committee voted to send House Bill 436 (HB436) to the full house floor for debate and vote.  Earlier this week, the General Laws committee voted 9-3 in favor.

HB436, the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, might be the most appropriately named bill anywhere.  It proposes to do just what’s in the title, and would nullify virtually all federal gun control measures on the books – “past, present, or future.”  It reads, in part:

All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, shall be specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

(2) Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to:
(a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934;
(b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968;
(c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens;
(f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; and
(g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.

There is no stronger protection for the right to keep and bear arms anywhere in the country – if passed into law.  Currently that title goes to Kansas, where an almost-as-strong bill is sitting on Governor Brownback’s desk awaiting signature or veto.


Say NO to Drones in your Local Community

by Nadia Kayyali, Constitution Campaign

This week, Bill of Rights Defense Committee is releasing model drone legislation to assist local communities and states in the growing battle against domestic surveillance drones. BORDC worked with the organizers across the country  who have been leading the opposition against rushed drone proliferation. The American Friends Service CommitteeAlameda County Against Drones, the No Drones Network,  and the Tenth Amendment Center all consulted on the language.

In response to the diversity of grassroots organizing efforts currently taking place, there are two models of the legislation. One creates a drone free zone, meaning it completely prohibits the use of drones over a city or county to the extent legally permissible. The other strictly limits the use of drones to specific situations. Both of the models contain significant explanations of why unregulated drone proliferation and use is so deeply concerning.  They also contain policy statements urging action at the state and federal level to restrict drone use.

The regulated use of drones model allows law enforcement to use drones only when they have obtained a warrant from a judge and they certify that drones are the least expensive and best option. It would also allow non-law enforcement missions, including search and rescue, fire response and prevention, and hazardous material spills but the language ensures that these exceptions will be strictly regulated.  Additionally, there are very strict auditing requirements and regulations on the use and destruction of data obtained via drones.  Portions of this model were contributed by civil rights lawyer David Frankel, representing a grassroots coalition called Aligning for Responsible Droning (“ARD”).

The need for action on drones right now is clear. As the prefatory clauses of the model legislation emphasize, drones have the potential to introduce ambient and persistent surveillance, meaning surveillance could be everywhere at all times and impossible to avoid. That’s because the drone technology ensures that specific and limited surveillance is impossible. When strict regulations are not imposed, drones can potentially catch images of everyday activity on their way to and from specific missions and law enforcement can use that information in any way they want. There is little incentive for law enforcement not to exploit this ability. What’s worse is that drone use will exacerbate the targeting of vulnerable groups by law enforcement.  Biased policing through the local enforcement of federal immigration laws, arrests for low level victimless crimes and racial and religious profiling will inevitably increase.


Noncompliance Does Not Mean Spineless: Missouri Style

In 2009, the state of Missouri nullified the Real ID Act.

HB 361 set in stone how Missouri establishes residency, naturalization, and lawful immigration status. This bill also defined information included on a Missouri ID card. It specifically states that, “an applicant shall not have his or her privacy rights violated in order to obtain or renew a Missouri noncommercial driver’s license, noncommercial instruction permit, or a nondriver’s license.” The the law emphatically states,  “Missouri will not comply with the Department of Homeland Securities REAL-ID act.”

The department of revenue shall not amend procedures for applying for a driver’s license or identification card in order to comply with the goals or standards of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, any rules or regulations promulgated under the authority granted in such act, or any requirements adopted by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators for furtherance of the act.

Any biometric data previously collected, obtained, or retained in connection with motor vehicle registration or operation, the issuance or renewal of driver’s licenses, or the issuance or renewal of any identification cards by any department or agency of the state charged with those activities shall be retrieved and deleted from all databases. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any data collected, obtained, or retained for a purpose other than compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. For purposes of this section, “biometric data” includes, but is not limited to:
(1) Facial feature pattern characteristics;
(2) Voice data used for comparing live speech with a previously created speech model of a person’s voice;
(3) Iris recognition data containing color or texture patterns or codes;
(4) Retinal scans, reading through the pupil to measure blood vessels lining the retina;
(5) Fingerprint, palm prints, hand geometry, measuring of any and all characteristics of biometric information, including shape and length of fingertips or recording ridge pattern or fingertip characteristics;
(6) Eye spacing;
(7) Characteristic gait or walk;
(8) DNA;
(9) Keystroke dynamics, measuring pressure applied to key pads or other digital receiving devices.
5. No citizen of this state shall have his or her privacy compromised by the state or agents of the state. The state shall within reason protect the sovereignty of the citizens the state is entrusted to protect.

The End-Around

But it appears state bureaucrats are implementing Real ID through a back door, in direct violation of state law.


Missouri Looking To Amend State Constitution To Bolster the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The State of Missouri is getting serious when it comes to protecting the gun rights of its citizens, and the legislature has proposed amending their State Constitution to show they that mean business.

Senate Joint Resolution 14 was passed by a landslide 29 to 2 vote on Apr. 4, and this proposed State Constitutional Amendment would provide ‘that a citizen has the right to keep and bear arms in defense of their family, in addition to the current rights in defense of home, person and property.’

The bill gets even better from there as it would not just re-affirm gun ownership rights for individuals but it would also remove ‘language stating that the right to keep and bear arms did not justify the wearing of concealed weapons’ and provide ‘that the rights guaranteed under this provision of the Constitution are unalienable. The State of Missouri is obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement.’

The language in this proposed amendment is clear that the State of Missouri must act decisively in protecting the God-given right to bear arms. It is unclear how this would exactly take shape during a full-scale federal ban and seizure of firearms, but this type of action is a decisive rebuke of the would-be gun grabbers and creates the legal requirement that the State defend against such acts. The message is being sent loud and clear to the federal usurpers that at least one state will be firmly on the side of the people should they overstep their bounds on this important issue.