ST. PAUL, Minn. (March 9, 2016) – A Minnesota bill would prohibit state cooperation with enforcement of any and all future federal gun control measures, whether through executive order, act of congress or agency rule. Passage would serve to essentially nullify such federal actions in effect.

Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) introduced House Bill 2726 (HF2726) on March 8. The legislation bars any state agency or political subdivision, along with their employees and corporations providing services on their behalf, from knowingly assisting the federal government in any investigation, detention, arrest, or search and seizure relating to a future criminal, civil or administrative restriction on firearms, magazines, ammunition, or firearms components.

HF2726 would also encourage the private sale and exchange of firearms by prohibiting the state from implementing future federal background check requirements on the intrastate transfer of guns between parties that do not possess a federal firearms license.

The legislation includes a statement declaring violations of the Second Amendment null and void in the state.

“Pursuant to the Second Amendment and Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, any attempts by the federal government to place restrictions or limitations on firearms, firearm magazines, ammunition, or components null, void, and of no effect in the state.”

If ultimately passed into law, this legislation would require the withdrawal of all state cooperation from the implementation or enforcement of any future federal gun control measures, including executive orders, agency rules, or laws passed by Congress.


While some may consider this language controversial, it has no impact on the enacting sections of the bill. The refusal to cooperate does not rest on any finding of constitutionality.

HF2726 rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on four Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. Printz v. US serves as the cornerstone.

“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. 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. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.”


Based on James Madison’s advice for states and individuals in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from the states.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, he noted that a single state taking this step would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.

Louisiana gun-rights activist Trevor Ray put it this way in a comment on Facebook,

“While the FBI/ATF can still operate business as usual, they couldn’t effectively investigate and enforce these laws without the local/state authorities handling most of the legwork and logistics, they’re usually just the purse strings.”

The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun laws. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states can nullify in practice many federal actions. 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.”

“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control schemes, the states can effectively bring them down.”


HF2726 was referred to the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee. It will have to pass by a majority vote before moving on to the full House for further consideration.


In Minnesota, follow all the steps to support this bill 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.

Mike Maharrey

The 10th Amendment

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