TOPEKA, Kan. (Feb. 26, 2024) – A bill introduced in the Kansas House would prohibit state and local enforcement of most federal gun control on the books.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee introduced House Bill 2803 (HB2803) on Feb. 15. Titled the Kansas Gun Rights Preservation Act, the bill would prohibit an agency of the state, a political subdivision of the state, and their employees from knowingly and willingly participating in any way in the enforcement of any federal act, law, executive order, administrative order, rule or regulation regarding a firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition against a law-abiding citizen.

Under the proposed law, a “law-abiding citizen” would be defined as “an individual who is not otherwise precluded under state law from possessing a firearm.”

It would also prohibit the utilization of any assets, state funds, or funds allocated by the state to local entities for the enforcement of or aiding a federal agency in the enforcement of the same.

HB2803 creates a process for a person harmed by a violation of the act to “bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive and other relief.” It also includes a $50,000 fine for any municipal agency that hires a person who previously violated the law.


The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations, and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”

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 state and local governments.

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.

“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”


A state can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement 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 five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. Printz v. U.S. 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”

No determination of constitutionality is necessary to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.

The following actions would specifically not be prohibited under the proposed law.

  • Providing material aid and support to federal law enforcement agencies that are in pursuit of a suspect when there is a demonstrable criminal nexus with another foreign jurisdiction and such suspect is either not a citizen of this state or is not present in this state.
  • Providing material aid and support to any United States attorney or assistant United States attorney in the prosecution of felony crimes substantially similar to any crime described in article 57, 58, or 63 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto, that includes the possession of a firearm or other weapon if the charges are not solely for the possession or use of such firearm or weapon.
  • Accepting aid from any federal law enforcement agency in an effort to enforce the laws of the state made in pursuance to the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Kansas.


The House Federal and State Affairs Committee will need to give HB2803 a hearing and pass it by a majority vote before it can advance in the legislative process.

Mike Maharrey

The 10th Amendment

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