Respect for the right to bear arms and the practice of firearms ownership are cherished traditions in Tennessee that have been passed down from generation to generation. The manufacture of alcoholic beverages is another Tennessee tradition that has endured through the generations.

In fact, the oldest registered distillery in the United States is the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee where all of Jack Daniel’s famous whiskey is made. The famous George Dickel distillery has been in operation in Tullahoma, Tennessee since 1870. In addition, there are a good many smaller distilleries and wineries throughout Tennessee.

It seems only logical considering that both firearms and alcohol fall under the purview of the ATF, that alcoholic beverages should be the next area of challenge in the battle for state sovereignty. This idea was first floated at a Tennessee Liberty Alliance meeting by Rep. Frank Niceley, widely considered to be the Ron Paul of the Tennessee General Assembly. The idea is to do for alcoholic beverages what the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act does for firearms.

According to Rep. Niceley, there is an approximate $13 per gallon Federal tax on all alcoholic beverages. These beverages are taxed by the Federal government even if they never leave the state, which should exempt these beverages from any Federal taxation and regulation under the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.

Even so, the Federal government continues its taxation and regulation of these alcoholic beverages that never cross the Tennessee border. Just as the Firearms Freedom Act states that firearms manufactured in Tennessee, sold in Tennessee, and kept in Tennessee are exempt from regulation by the Federal government; the Alcohol Freedom Act, based on the Firearms Freedom Act, would provide the same exemption for alcoholic beverages manufactured, sold, and consumed in Tennessee. Like the firearms in the Firearms Freedom Act, the alcoholic beverages would be stamped with a “Made in Tennessee” label to identify them as exempt.


Lesley Swann

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