Moments ago, Missouri House Bill 170, the Firearms Freedom Act, passed out of the House by a wide margin. It passed overwhelmingly with a strong veto-proof margin and will now move to the State Senate for concurrence. The final tally was 117-41.
HB170, the Firearms Freedom Act, protects two aspects of the right to bear arms: 1. HB170 protects semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and accessories from being registered, restricted or banned; 2: HB170 protects manufacturers from the federal governments infringements and dealers from using a national background database. It reads, in part:
“It shall be unlawful for any officer or employee of this state, or any political subdivision, or any federal firearms dealer licensed under 18 U.S.C. Section 923 to enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the federal government created or effective on or after January 1, 2013, relating to a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in the state of Missouri and that remains exclusively within the boundaries of the state of Missouri.
2. Any official, agent, or employee of the federal government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule, or regulation of the federal government created or effective on or after January 1, 2013, upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in the state of Missouri and that remains exclusively within the borders of the state of Missouri shall be guilty of a class D felony.
3. Any person in violation of a federal law created or effective on or after January 1, 2013, relating to the manufacture, sale, transfer, or possession of a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition owned or manufactured and retained exclusively within the boundaries of the state of Missouri may request the attorney general to defend him or her for such violation.
4. Any federal law created or effective on or after January 1, 2013, rule, regulation, or order created or effective on or after January 1, 2013, shall be unenforceable in the state of Missouri if the law, rule, regulation, or order attempts to: (1) Ban or restrict ownership of a semi-automatic firearm or any magazine of a firearm; or (2) Require any firearm, magazine, or other firearm accessory to be registered in any manner.” (emphasis added)
In short, any such federal “acts, laws, statutes, rules or regulations” that are already in effect or are passed in the future shall be nullified. This would effectively create a safe-haven for firearms manufacturers who want to build products that are sold to residents in Missouri. It also includes a statewide ban on any federal attempt to ban or restrict semi-automatics (including magazines and accessories) This bill is a great companion for HB436, the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, which already passed the House and is on its way to the Senate Floor in the coming days.
THE COMMERCE POWER
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 WELCOME MAT
HB170 lays out a welcome mat for firearms manufacturers Recently, State Representative Caleb Rowden gave an example of what might happen should HB170 be passed into law. He sent a letter to a significant number of firearms companies, encouraging them to relocate to Missouri. He wrote in part:
Congressman Williard Vandiver famously stated once, “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri, and you have got to show me.” In the spirit of Vandiver’s no-nonsense plainspoken approach, please allow me to show you why Missouri is an ideal location for your firearms business.
(see the full letter below).
HB170 is not just a protection of the right to keep and bear arms, it’s a great jobs bill for a struggling economy. Since a number of firearms manufacturers are under pressure from less-friendly states, passage of such a bill in Missouri could not come at a better time.
Action Items for Missouri
1. Contact your Senator. Respectively tell your Senator to Co-sponsor HB170, and encourage them to request this bill to be assigned to a committee fast! The legislative session is almost over.
To contact your senator, click here.
2. Get active on Facebook. Join the 2nd Amendment Missouri group and stay active in support of HB170 and HB436 and other legislation coming forward. Click here to join.
3. 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:
4. 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
Track the status of firearms freedom acts in states around the country at this link:
Encourage your State, County, City and Town to introduce legislation to protect your right to keep and bear arms today. Model legislation here: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/2nd-amendment-preservation-act/
LETTER FROM REP. ROWDEN