Alabama State Senator Gerald Allen (R-21) has introduced a bill very similar to the original Montana Firearms Freedom Act, passed into law in 2009.
The purpose of this bill is to exempt firearms, firearms accessories and ammunition from federal regulation if they are manufactured and maintained in the State of Alabama.
SB323, introduced on Feb. 8, clarifies that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution does not extend to products manufactured and sold entirely within Alabama’s borders. This bill has yet to receive any co-sponsors thus far. It currently sits in the House Judiciary Committee pending further action.
The bill cites both the 9th and 10th Amendments and goes on to say that “the regulation of intrastate commerce is vested in the states under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, particularly if not expressly preempted by federal law. Congress has not expressly preempted state regulation of intrastate commerce pertaining to the manufacture on an intrastate basis of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition.”
This legislation seeks to protect gun rights, but it does not rely on the Second Amendment. It rests exclusively on the intended limitations of the commerce power delegated to Congress. The Second Amendment Preservation Act takes a more holistic approach to protect the right to keep and bear arms by prohibiting state cooperation with enforcement of ALL federal laws violating the Second Amendment. You can find more information about the Second Amendment Protection Act HERE.
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.”
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