Tonight, in the final hours of the Kansas state legislative session, the House and Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 102 (previously House Bill 2199) and send it to Governor Brownback for signature.
(Kansas residents are urged to CALL the Governor NOW and respectfully urge him to sign SB102 - 785-296-3232)
The House passed the bill by a vote of 96-24, and the Senate voted 35-4. During the Senate vote, one Senator exclaimed, “Passage of SB102 means that 2nd and 10th Amendment are alive and well in Kansas.”
If signed into law, SB102 would nullify a wide range of federal attacks on the right to keep and bear arms in the State of Kansas. It states, in part:
Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas
In conjunction with Section 6a (quoted above), the bill defines what is meant by “the second amendment to the constitution of the United States,” and it isn’t based off a decision of the supreme court.
The second amendment to the constitution of the United States reserves to the people, individually, the right to keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time that Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861, and the guaranty of that right is a matter of contract between the state and people of Kansas and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Kansas in 1859 and the United States in 1861.
State and local agents would be prevented from supporting any acts or actions that are “null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.” Based off this text, the state of Kansas would not be allowed to participate in any federal gun control measures that restrict the individual right to keep and bear arms as understood in 1861.
As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here)
This mass noncompliance with an unconstitutional federal act is both constitutionally sound, and very effective. Read more about it here. A future legislative session could also address how to further prevent federal enforcement should these steps prove to not be effective enough.
A JOBS BILL TOO
Supporters of the legislation also see HB2199 as a potential jobs bill in that is specifically includes language from Firearms Freedom Acts that have been passed in various states since 2009.
A personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that manufactured commercially or privately and owned in Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas is not subject to any federal law, treaty, federal regulation, or federal executive action, including any federal firearm or ammunition registration program, under the authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce.
Such protection for the manufacture of firearms, accessories and ammunition could be an incentive for well-known manufacturers in New York or Maryland, for example, that are feeling the pressure of gun control advocates in those state legislatures. Encouraging businesses to relocate to Kansas is what some supporters says is “just what’s needed in a time of economic difficulty.”
The legislation takes this “jobs promotion” part of the potential law seriously. It would protect manufacturers who move to Kansas by providing for criminal charges on federal agents who attempt to violate the state law.
It is unlawful for any official, agent or employee of the government of the United States, or employee of a corporation providing services to the government of the United States to enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States upon a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas. Violation of this section is a severity level 10 nonperson felony
Passage of the bill took some serious work by the grassroots and legislators alike. Organizations such as the Kansas State Rifle Association and many others worked tireless to get the bill passed. At first, the House passed HB2199, but some powerful behind-the-scenes forces worked to kill the bill in the Senate. Then, a parliamentary procedure not common in most states saved the bill from death.
HB2199 was amended to change the bill to an entirely unrelated one, SB102. The language of HB2199 was then “put in the envelope for 102″ while the Senate passed HB2199. Since the House and Senate passed the bill, but different versions of it, a conference of the two houses was required to find concurrence between the two.
The same was happening with SB102. While the conference committee was set up and holding meetings, advocates of the original bill worked a compromise. The issue of concern was the criminal charges for federal agents. They were kept in the bill, but a procedural addition was made.
The final version of the bill, now SB102, gives local law enforcement some options. They are not required to have an armed standoff with federal agents who violate the 2nd Amendment. Charges could be filed by a summons, and no arrests would then be made until a trial is held and conviction made. The bill also empowers the District Attorney’s to file an injunction to block federal actions.
No state has passed such a strong nullification bill in modern American history.
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 the General Welfare Clause - August 19, 2014
- Thomas Jefferson on the General Welfare Clause - August 14, 2014
- James Madison: Speaking on the Bill of Rights and the 9th Amendment - August 13, 2014