An Oregon judge recently struck down an Oregon gun law based on the state constitution.

He got it right!

Federalism was the key to the ratification of the Constitution in 1787.

If the proponents of the Constitution had not consistently promised that the States would be virtually undisturbed in their powers, the Constitution would never have been ratified.

We know this because that was the most important point of discussion in 1787 and 1788.

James Wilson made it the thesis of his “State House Yard” speech in October 1787.

States, as Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, could do everything that “free and independent States” could do, just as the “State of Great Britain.” This is why each State had its own “Bill of Rights” to protect its citizens from abusive government.

A “Bill of Rights” for the central government applied only to that level. Even John Marshall said as much in 1833.

Which brings us to the current debate over “Gun Rights.”

Most pro “2nd Amendment” enthusiasts point to the United States Bill of Rights for the defense of their liberties. This is a reasonable conclusion based on current case law and Supreme Court decisions.

But what if they are undermining their own position?

A recent Oregon firearms law illustrates this point.

The law would require a mandatory gun safety course for anyone seeking to purchase a firearm along with a ban on high-capacity magazines. The bill was quickly challenged in both federal and State courts, but it is the State courts that have proven to be the best hedge against this violation of civil liberty.

You see, the bill violates the State constitution. It is, after all, a State and not a federal law.

The federal courts should not be involved.

And a State judge knocked it down. This is beautiful, and the exact path everyone should be pursuing for State laws that violate State constitutions.

I discuss the issue in Episode 908 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Brion McClanahan
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