Any new federal gun control “laws” would be effectively blocked in New Hampshire if a bill filed this week passes into law.
Introduced by Rep. JR Hoell, House Bill 685 (HB685) would prohibit “a state agency, state employee, or political subdivision from enforcing any federal law regarding a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition.”
The bill, which is based on model legislation from ShallNot.org, also prohibits the use of “any assets, state funds, or funds allocated by the state to local entities on or after the effective date of this section, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent, or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement or any investigation pursuant to the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this section regarding a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition.”
“Law enforcement officers in New Hampshire take their oath to defend the US and New Hampshire Constitutions very seriously and this bill will protect them from being directed by the federal government to violate that oath,” said Hoell. “Passing this bill would be New Hampshire drawing a line in the sand, giving our state the foundation to further protect our right to keep and bear arms from federal infringement in the future.”
Rep. Hoell, a steadfast supporter of the 2nd, 9th and 10th Amendments of the US Constitution, also pointed out Article 7 of the New Hampshire Constitution which states:
The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled.
LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS
Based on James Madison’s advice for states and individuals in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” is an extremely effectively method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership in the states.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a recent televised discussion on the issue, he noted that a single state taking this step would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.
Refusing to participate with federal enforcement is not just an effective method, it has also been sanctioned by the Supreme Court in a number of major cases, dating from 1842.
The 1997 case, Printz v. US serves as the cornerstone. In it, Justice Scalia held:
The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program.
As noted Georgetown Law Constitutional Scholar Randy Barnett has said, “This line of cases is now 20 years old and considered well settled.”
Introduction comes at a time when several other states are considering similar bills, building momentum and support for the effort to block federal gun control at the state level. Similar bills have already been filed for 2015 in Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Minnesota, Montana and Mississippi and at least five more states are expected to do the same. Since 2013, Idaho, Alaska and Kansas have already passed into law legislation that pushes back at federal gun control measures with this same strategy.
“We know from experience that when ten or more states pass laws that seek to block federal acts, the federal government has an extremely difficult time with enforcement,” said Bryan Baucom of ShallNot.org. “With three states on the board already, and legislators more willing to take a stand on the right to keep and bear arms, we are well on our way to bringing down some aspects of federal gun control without having to wait on Congress.”
HB685 has been assigned to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, where it will need to be passed before going before the full House for a vote.
TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORT
In New Hampshire: Follow the steps to support this bill at THIS LINK
All other states, take action to stop federal gun control. Start at this link.
- Ohio Bill Takes on all Federal Attempts to Implement More Gun Control - February 12, 2016
- Gun Control and the Constitution: There are No Exceptions to “Shall Not Be Infringed” - October 27, 2015
- Kentucky Bill Would Nullify All Federal Gun Control - October 12, 2015