A bill that would exempt firearms, firearms accessories and ammunition from federal regulation if manufactured and maintained in the State of Oklahoma passed out of a House committee Tuesday.
Rep. Louis Moore introduced the bill earlier this month. HB2805 seeks to encourage firearm manufacturing and sales within the state, but it does not rely on the Second Amendment. It rests exclusively on the intended limitations of the commerce power delegated to Congress and clarifies that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution does not extend to products manufactured and sold entirely within Oklahoma’s borders..The bill cites both the Ninth 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.”
HB2805 passed the House States’ Rights Committee 8-3.
The bill states, in part:
A personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in Oklahoma and that remains within the borders of Oklahoma is not subject to federal law, treaty, federal regulation or federal executive action, including any federal firearm or ammunition registration program, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce.
It also includes penalties of up to $5000 and at least 1 year in prison for violations of the act:
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 regarding a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the State of Oklahoma and that remains within the borders of Oklahoma.
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.”
HB2805 will now move on to the House Calendar Committee, the body responsible for scheduling the agenda for the House floor.