COLUMBUS, OH (Feb. 12, 2016) – A bill introduced in Ohio yesterday would withdraw all state enforcement and resources from any new federal gun control measures, an effective method to stop them from having any practical effect.
Ohio Representative Nino Vitale (R-85) introduced House Bill 460 (HB460) which would “prohibit the state, a political subdivision, and any official, agent, or employee of any state or local government agency from knowingly enforcing or attempting to enforce any federal statute or regulation regarding a firearm, and to declare an emergency.”
In a press release, Vitale said,
“As an NRA and CCW instructor I take great pride in teaching people safe gun handling techniques and Ohio gun law. Like some of you, I have spent many hours reviewing the recent executive orders of President Obama and what I have found has impelled me to introduce this long over-due legislation. By his redefinition of the Federal Firearm Licensing (FFL), usage of Obamacare and the Social Security Administration, and broad definition of mental health the President introduces many new elements that can threaten the liberty of law abiding Ohio citizens.”
HB460 would prohibit state and local agents and employees from participating in
the enforcement of any federal act, statute, law, rule, or regulation that is adopted, promulgated, or becomes effective on or after January 1, 2016, as amended, regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition;
The bill goes on to prohibit the state from using
any assets, state funds, or funds allocated by the state to a political subdivision 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 any enforcement action or investigation in connection with the enforcement of a federal act, statute, law, rule, or regulation that is adopted, promulgated, or becomes effective on or after January 1, 2016, as amended, regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition.
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.
This is because a vast majority of federal enforcement actions are either led or supported by law enforcement – and other agencies – on a state level. As noted by the National Governor’s Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”
“A partnership doesn’t work too well when one side stops working,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control schemes, the states can effectively bring them down.”
LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL
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.
Furthermore, unlike other bills introduced recently in Ohio – HB35 and SB142, which have been collecting dust in committees since early 2015 – HB460 doesn’t attempt to overturn federal law or physically interfere with federal enforcement of its own laws, but instead simply directs all state agencies to simply stand down. This proven strategy renders even ignorant misinterpretations of the so-called “Supremacy Clause” moot.
“We must pass this law quickly, declaring it an emergency and so it takes effect upon passage, with no waiting period,” said Vitale. “Join me in protecting every Ohioan’s rights under the 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, under the 2nd amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and defending the Ohio Constitution which is being trampled on by the Federal Government.”
HB460 has yet to be assigned to a committee, where it will need to pass before going to the full House for a vote.
TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORT
In Ohio, follow all the steps to support HB460 at THIS LINK
All other states, contact your state legislator and encourage them to introduce similar legislation to stop federal gun control at this link.
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