LANSING, Mich. (May 6, 2016)  – Yesterday, a Michigan Senate committee passed a bill that declares firearms, firearms accessories and ammunition manufactured and maintained in the state of Michigan exempt from federal regulation. Passage of the bill would set the stage to nullify some federal regulations on some firearms in practice.

Sen. Phil Pavlov (R) introduced Senate Bill 0015 (SB0015) last year. The legislation declares that the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate firearms that are manufactured and retained in the state. It reads, in part:

“A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Michigan and that remains within the borders of Michigan is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce.”

The legislation is based on an originalist reading of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution, the “interstate commerce clause,” noting that the power to regulate “interstate” commerce is different than the power to regulate “intrastate” commerce:

The regulation of intrastate commerce is vested in the states under amendments IX and X of the constitution of the United States

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary reported the bill out favorably. It now moves on to the Senate Committee of the Whole for further consideration.

IN PRACTICE

Passage of the legislation would open the door for gun manufacturers to set up shop in Michigan by creating a legal environment at the state level friendly to their businesses. The practical impact would depend on gun rights activists taking the next step and actually producing firearms within the state.

This could conceivably evolve in the same way state legalization of medical marijuana eventually overwhelmed federal prohibition. For example, once California legalized medicinal cannabis in the 90s, people slowly began opening dispensaries, despite the fact federal laws remained on the books. Despite concerted efforts to shut the fledgling industry down through both enforcement and legal efforts in federal court, medicinal cannabis businesses continued to proliferate and thrive. Soon other states followed in California’s footsteps.

“At some point, it reaches a critical mass and the prohibition becomes more and more unenforceable by government,” Tenth Amendment Center founder and executive director Michael Boldin said. “There’s no reason that gun owners and manufacturers couldn’t do the same.”

Passage of SB0015 would set the stage for the same type movement for firearms freedom.

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.”


Concordia res parvae crescunt


Small things grow great by concord...

Tenth Amendment Center


"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


FOLLOW US

Get in Touch

2 + 5 =


MAIL:
PO BOX 13458
Los Angeles, CA 90013


PHONE:
213.935.0553

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

LEARN MORE

01

Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles

02

Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog

03

State of the Nullification Movement

108 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report

01

Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty

02

maharrey minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens.

maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues – history, and application today

TENTHER ESSENTIALS

Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!

JOIN TAC

01

The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose – the “Foundation of the Constitution.”

10th Amendment

03

Nullification

Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history – and today.

nullification