Action Alert: Nullify Federal Gun Control Locally in Texas

Earlier this year, the Texas State House took a huge step toward protecting the right to keep and bear arms in Texas, approving a bill that would have rendered almost all federal gun control measures toothless by a wide margin. But Senate gamesmanship doomed  HB928 in the upper chamber. Rep. Matthew Krause reintroduced the legislation for consideration in special session, but Gov. Perry has indicated there will be no special session to consider gun bills.

The struggle to nullify federal gun control is far from over, however.  The bulk of the work is yet to be done, and it needs to happen on the most local level possible.  With your work and dedication, liberty will win.

HERE’S WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN TEXAS

1.  Contact your local legislators – County, City, Town - and urge them to introduce am ORDINANCE in support of the Second Amendment.

model ordinance here: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/legislation/2nd-amendment-preservation-act/

2.  Become a local leader.   If you’re dedicated to the right and keep and bear arms, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to not only act on your own, but to organize and lead others to help support these efforts.

contact us here and let us know – http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/volunteer

3. Join 2nd Amendment Preservation Group for Texas on Facebook.  This is the center where grassroots activists can coordinate, task, and activate their communities to stop federal infringements.   https://www.facebook.com/groups/2ndAmendmentTexas/

Grassroots activists can coordinate, task, and activate their communities to stop federal gun control. 

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Oscoda County Strikes Again, Another Resolution in Support of the 2nd Amendment

Oscoda County is emerging as the hub for the Michigan Constitutional resistance.

The township of  Elmer unanimously passed a resolution affirming the Second Amendment rights of its residents.

Elmer joins Big Creek and Comins townships in Oscoda County in passing Second Amendment Preservation Resolutions, with Greenfield passing a motion to uphold the entire Constitution. In lieu of this recent action, it is clear that Oscoda County has emerged as the trailblazer in protecting the rights of Michigan gun owners.

While Elmer Township made a statement that Second Amendment rights will be preserved there, two townships in Oscoda sadly rejected or stalled resolutions. Mentor officials rejected the resolution on a 2-3 vote, while Clinton tabled the vote pending review from the Michigan Township Association.

Still, a majority of townships within the county have passed something affirming the Second Amendment. Activists hope that this will serve to alert the freedom-starved masses that local, civic action is the way to fight back against federal overreach. These resolutions also make a bold statement to state legislature and will hopefully motivate them to wake up from their malaise, honor their oath and step up to protect the rights of their citizens.

“You end up creating a message, education, and influence [by passing these resolutions] that our rights shall not be infringed as a FREE People,” Oscoda County Republican Party Chair Doug Davis said.

Davis was influential in getting the resolutions passed.

“Also, by doing so, you send the message to the top, that we the People, DO NOT stand for the shredding of our God-Given rights!”

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FISA Court Colludes with NSA to Allow Unconstitutional Surveillance

Documents obtained by The Guardian (U.K.) reveal that the court that was ostensibly created to keep the federal domestic spy apparatus from invading the rights of Americans is actually routinely giving the National Security Agency (NSA) and others the go-ahead to use data “inadvertently” collected during unwarranted surveillance of American citizens.

The newspaper that broke the story of the NSA’s activities as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden published on June 20 “two full documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.” Both documents were signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and were issued in July 2009.

According to the article written by Glenn Greenwald and James Ball, the documents “detail the procedures the NSA is required to follow to target “non-US persons” under its foreign intelligence powers and what the agency does to minimize data collected on US citizens and residents in the course of that surveillance.”

Not surprisingly, neither the Fourth Amendment nor the freedoms against tyranny that it protects are honored by Holder or the other architects and construction crews erecting the surveillance state.

As Greenwald and Ball report, the leaked documents demonstrate that when the NSA is conducting surveillance under the pretense of monitoring foreign targets, any U.S. communication caught in the dragnet is “collected, retained and used.”

Using Section 215 of the Patriot Act as justification, the NSA is now known to monitor and seize the phone records of millions of Americans who are not now or ever have been suspected of any crime that would justify the issuing of a search warrant. This wholesale watching of the telephone activities of citizens was revealed by The Guardian a few weeks ago as part of Snowden’s release of information on his former employer.

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A Certain Amount of Voter Apathy Can Be Good

“It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires in the hearts of men.” - often attributed to Samuel Adams

It has been nearly three weeks since the 2013 New Jersey primary election, a date so uneventful it would have gone barely noticed, despite a gubernatorial primary on the ballot.  The front runners in both major parties won by enormous margins, and most state and local elected offices had no real primary.  If one saw more than one name for a position, it was most likely because it was something like county freeholder or a municipal council position that usually says to vote for any two or three.  

Newton’s first rule of motion certainly applies not only to physics, but to politics as well.  Sure, we New Jerseyans show up every four years for the presidential election, but voters at rest on primary day tend to stay at rest on primary day.  What if somebody told you this voter apathy could be the liberty movement’s greatest asset to gaining a foothold in New Jersey politics?  For Tenthers hoping to shape the direction of their parties, be they Republicans, Democrats or independents, now may be the chance to start gearing up for a future run, not so much next year, when Congressional elections may increase voter turnout, but in 2015.  That’s not to say we shouldn’t try to find good, constitutional candidates next year for local offices, or contact this year’s candidates to encourage them to embrace nullification.  Doing so now could lay the groundwork for solid local candidates in two years.

Scott Grossman, Republican primary challenger to incumbent Governor Chris Christie, pointed out that voters in the primaries have twenty times more voting power than those in the general because of the difference in voter turnout.  It makes sense.  In an election where there are 100 people voting, getting one person to vote for you gains you 1% of the vote.  If you have 2,000 people voting, one vote gets you 0.05% of the vote.  If both people receive 51 votes in their respective scenarios, the former is elected, while the latter is up to a whopping 2.55%.

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Congress Spends Your Tax Dollars on a National ID

by Jim Harper, for the CATO Institute

It’s appropriations season! – that wonderful time of year when the House and Senate pass competing versions of legislation to fund government agencies, bureaus, and…whatever pork and pet projects they can squeeze in.

Congress has made most of its spending decisions over the past few years through last-minute continuing resolutions or consolidated appropriations bills. That makes it harder to follow the money (which may be part of the reason they’ve been doing it that way), but it’s important to watch the dollars because some of that money is going toward national ID systems and biometrics.

Last week the House passed their FY 2014 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. As in years past, the legislation contains funding for three of everyone’s favorite identification programs: REAL ID, E-Verify, and US-VISIT/the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), a DHS office covering biometrics for travelers at airports, ports, and other points of entry.

For the coming fiscal year, the House appropriated $114 million for E-Verify, $232 million for OBIM, and $1.2 billion for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), from which grants for REAL ID implementation get doled out to states.

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Pennsylvania Bill Would Nullify NDAA “Indefinite Detention”

In another David flings a rock in Goliath’s eye moment, Pennsylvania state Senator Mike Folmer introduced the Liberty Preservation Act (SB999) last week.

The bill would prohibit state employees from cooperating with federal enforcement of sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) that purport to allow arrest and detention without charge or trial on U.S. soil.

No employee shall provide material support or participate in any way with the implementation of sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, as amended, (Public Law 112-81, 125 Stat. 1298) within the boundaries of this Commonwealth.

SB999 sets criminal penalties for state employees – including law enforcement personnel – who aid or abet federal agents or agencies attempting to arrest or detain citizens pursuant to the NDAA within the Commonwealth.  Pennsylvania now joins 18 other states with pending or enacted legislation that interposes sovereign state authority between their citizens and the growing authoritarianism of central government.

“I believe the indefinite detention of American citizens without providing them due process of law is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. This is why I introduced legislation to prohibit state, county, and local agencies from complying with NDAA:  to protect Pennsylvanians’ due process rights,” Folmer said, affirming his duty to uphold the Constitution against its unchecked transgression by the federal government.

Think it can’t happen here?  It already has.

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Non-compliance Works: Statistics are Proving Our Point

We can neuter the feds simply by refusing to join them on the playground.

There is a lot of talk these days about how liberty yields to “security” and how government has grown in size and power with the “War on Terror.” But in reality, this national security state has existed as a permanent installation since the Cold War. And its not just foreign wars driving the militarized state. The decades long War on Drugs has contributed as much, if not more.

But here is some good news: recently released data on the “Drug War” indicates  so-called security may, in fact, be yielding to liberty!

“Decreased availability of local law enforcement personnel to assist in eradication efforts” is one of the primary concerns for the unconstitutional Drug Enforcement Administration. Federal statistics showed a drop of 60 percent  in the amount of marijuana destroyed. In 2009, over 10 million plants were seized, but in 2012 that number fell below four million.

Buried in this statistic, we see the power and potential of state nullification. With 19 states authorizing medical marijuana, and Washington and Colorado legalizing weed for recreational use, we see the carpet slipping out from under the feds. Each time a state takes control of its own marijuana policy, it has less incentive to cooperate with the feds in eradicating weed. That leaves the DEA to operate on its own. And it simply can’t do it. The feds lack the funding and manpower to control marijuana in all 50 states against the will of the people.

And the will of the people has turned against the war on marijuana. A Pew Research poll shows 59 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans think the feds should back off enforcing federal drug laws in states with legalized marijuana. The lack of public will translates to a lack of political will. With states facing tight budgets, officials simply won’t waste resources helping the feds enforce unconstitutional and unpopular acts. In California and other states, the funds simply aren’t there to lend support to the feds. Even if people don’t embrace, or even understand, the principles of nullification, the effect is the same: the federal “laws” become unenforceable.

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New Hampshire Legislature Nullifies Federal “Laws” on Marijuana

CONCORD, N.H.  – New Hampshire moved a step forward toward legalizing marijuana for medical use, joining the swelling ranks of states nullifying the unconstitutional federal ban on weed.  The Legislature voted 284-66 Wednesday in favor of HB 573 and the bill now goes to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

The bill allows patients diagnosed with cancer, Crohn’s disease and approximately twenty initially approved conditions to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana obtained from one of four dispensaries authorized by the state.

‘‘All of us recognize it has been proven to provide relief from pain and suffering,’’ Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) said.

Even so, the feds define alleviating suffering as a criminal activity. Congress and the president claim the constitutional authority to ban marijuana. The Supreme Court concurs. But the opinions of black-robed judicial oracles don’t magically transform the meaning of the Constitution. It delegates no power to regulate plants grown and used within the borders of a state. And the so-called war on drugs rests on the same legal authority as all of the other modern-day undeclared wars.

None.

Doubt this? Then ask yourself why it took a constitutional amendment to legalize federal alcohol prohibition?

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Second Pennsylvania Constable Pledges to Protect Second Amendment

Across the U.S., we’ve seen local officials stepping in to affirm their commitment to the Second Amendment.

On June 15,  Constable of the 3rd Ward of the Borough of Perkasie, Pa. added to the chorus, becoming the second state constable to sign a Second Amendment Preservation resolution.

 I, Andrew Rumbold, Constable of the 3rdWard of the Borough of Perkasie, Bucks County, declare that all federal, state, or local acts, actions, orders, resolutions, rules, or regulations regarding firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition – past, present, or future – shall be in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and Article 1, Sections 1 and 21 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and violate the rights and duties of lawful citizens and were and are null and void from their inception and will not be implemented,enforced, or otherwise supported in this Commonwealth by the Office of Constable of the 3rd Ward of the Borough of Perkasie,

FURTHER, in keeping with my oath to support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, I hereby express my commitment to interpose this office and stand in defense of all persons including citizens and lawful residents of the United States within this Commonwealth, against any and all attempts by any agents of the government to subject the people to unconstitutional seizure of their firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition…”

In Pennsylvania, constable is an elected office with a six year term. The office falls under the executive branch and the governor, but ultimately constables answer to the people. They are considered “peace officers” and have arrest powers.

Local resolutions send a strong message to lawmakers in Harrisburg and increase the chance of passing state-level legislation blocking violations of the Second Amendment. When officials like Rumbold and towns like Holly Springs take a stand, it also lays the ground work for the next step: city and county ordinances nullifying unconstitutional federal gun laws.

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Majority Wrong, Justice Thomas Right, in Arizona Immigration Case

NOTE: This is the first of several short commentaries on recent Supreme Court decisions.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that portions of Arizona’s immigration law violate federal statutes. In his dissent, Justice Thomas relied heavily on my own research.

The Independence Institute did not participate in that case. So how did it happen that I was cited? In 2010 the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law published my article on the original meaning of a constitutional provision relevant to the decision. The provision is Article I, Section 4—which the Court called the “Elections Clause,” but is more accurately entitled the “Times, Places and Manner Clause.” The Clause provides that the states may regulate the “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives,” but that Congress may override most of these regulations.

In the article, I discuss exactly what the Founders meant by the phrase “Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections,” and how Congress’s power over its own elections should be interpreted.

The recent case involved whether Arizona’s requirement that voters show proof of citizenship when registering to vote violated federal law. The Court had to decide how widely to read a federal statute and how widely to read Congress’s authority under the Times, Places and Manner Clause.

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