GOP state lawmakers seek to nullify federal gun limits https://t.co/sgooaajl7d
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) March 5, 2021
On March 3rd, the Arizona Senate passed legislation, SB1328, that would not only forbid the enforcement of any overreaching federal gun bans or restrictions – but would also leave state and local law enforcement vulnerable to criminal prosecution or lawsuits if attempting to enforce federal gun laws.
The provisions outlined in the state senate bill reads as follows:
“1. Declares an act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the U.S. government that violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or Article II, Section 26 of the Arizona Constitution null, void and unenforceable in Arizona.”
“2. Prohibits the state and a political subdivision from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the U.S. government that violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution or Article II, Section 26 of the Arizona Constitution.”
“3. Classifies the first offense of impairment of a citizen’s right to bear arms as a class 1 misdemeanor and each subsequent offense as a class 6 felony.”
“4. Requires the court to impose the maximum fine and sentence on a person convicted of impairment of a citizen’s right to bear arms.”
“5. States that a government entity, agency, bureau, employee or official, or a person working under the authority or orders of a government entity, agency, bureau, employee or official commits an impairment of a citizen’s right to bear arms by enforcing or attempting to enforce an act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the U.S. government that is null, void and unenforceable by this statute.”
“6. Allows a government entity, agency, bureau, employee or official, or a person working under the authority of orders of a government entity, agency, bureau, employee or official that commits an impairment of a citizen’s right to bear arms pursuant to this statute to be sued by any citizen in superior court for declarative and injunctive relief, damages and attorney fees.”
Basically, this effort goes far beyond the run-of-the-mill Second Amendment sanctuary laws and ordinances that have cropped up over the past year, mainly due to the criminal and civil penalties mentioned in the legislation.
— Peter Mac Isaac (@PeterRMacIsaac) March 5, 2021
As for the state house, they too have brought forth a bill similar to that of the state senate’s, but it doesn’t carry the language pertaining to the possible criminal and civil penalties for those attempting to enforce federal gun laws deemed unconstitutional by the state.
Republican Rep. Leo Biasiucci was the sponsor of the house bill in Arizona, saying that if the federal government wants to pass these sorts of gun restrictions, then the feds can own the enforcement of them:
“They can do that at a federal level, but in Arizona it’s not going to fly.”
While there’s undoubtedly going to be issues raised regarding the Supremacy Clause and the doctrine of preemption, which basically spells out that federal law supersedes state law, both the Supremacy Clause and the doctrine of preemption flouted for years by various states.
Rep. Biasiucci is of course very aware of this aspect, comparing how Arizona passed laws allowing the recreational use of marijuana (which many states have done as well).
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In February, a county in Missouri was among the areas also preparing for potential federal overreach with gun laws – adding their own unique spin to Second Amendment sanctuary laws.
Here’s that previous report.
NEWTON COUNTY, MO – Well this is unexpected.
A number of counties within the United States have passed various iterations of Second Amendment sanctuary laws or declarations in the event there are federal laws ever to be passed that encroach the right to bear arms.
But Newton County in Missouri has taken that concept and furthered the coverage in their own version of a Second Amendment sanctuary act that was recently passed.
Newton County, Missouri passed a bill that blocks federal enforcement of unconstitutional gun policies and criminalizes their implantation. @RMConservative
— StridentConservative (@StridentConserv) February 9, 2021
What makes Newton County’s iteration so unique is that it endows the sheriff with the authority to enact arrests of federal agents if they attempt to enforce any laws related to firearms that contradict the Second Amendment protections outlined in “Second Amendment Preservation Act of Newton County Missouri”.
The opening portion of the act that was recently passed reads as follows:
“All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations passed by the federal government and specifically any presidential administration whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in the county, shall not be recognized by this county, and specifically rejected by this county, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this County.”
This particular act was broken down into six separate sections, with the first section describing potential federal laws or acts that this act would nullify in any said efforts to have them enforced within Newton County.
Some of the examples of “federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations,” provided by the Second Amendment Preservation Act that would be deemed null and void of enforcement from within the county include:
- Any form of taxes on firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition that fall outside of the realm of being “common to all other goods and services”
- National registries of firearms, accessories, or ammunition
- National registries of firearm owners
- Confiscation of firearms, accessories, or ammunition that affect “law-abiding citizens”
- And generally, any act past, present, or future passed by Congress and signed into federal law that infringes on the Second Amendment
Outside of outlining the aforementioned protections detailed within the Second Amendment Preservation Act, it looks as though Newton County is taking a page out of the proverbial playbook from states like New York, in a sense.
Within sections two and three of this act, Newton County has declared that any law enforcement agencies or officials operating within the confines and/or under the authority of Newton County cannot attempt to enforce any federal laws that are in contrast with the Second Amendment Preservation Act.
Basically, somewhat mirroring how New York has barred their own law enforcement agencies from assisting ICE in their endeavors to enforce federal immigration laws.
But it’s in section four of this passed act is where things get a little interesting.
Section four reads as follows:
“Any and all federal agents trying to enforce the regulations listed in Section 1 shall be subject to arrest by the Newton County Missouri Sheriff’s Department;”
“(a) The Newton County Missouri Sheriff’s Department shall be given the full authority to make an arrest of any and all federal agents that violate state laws and enforce the regulations listed in Section (1).”
This is an interesting element to this passed act.
Not only are local law enforcement agencies unable to assist the federal government in trying to enforce any laws that would encroach upon the Second Amendment guaranteed by the United States Constitution and Missouri’s constitution.
But federal agents attempting to step in and enforce these laws in the county could see themselves getting arrested by the Sheriff’s Department.
“Specifically, section 4a of the Newton County ordinance grants the sheriff’s department ‘full authority to make an arrest of any and all federal agents that violate state laws and enforce regulations’ that violate the Second Amendment.”
I’m so proud.https://t.co/Z3oqtKD3Uk
— Fenrir (@RedWolfMenace) February 9, 2021
This sort of conundrum will undoubtedly bring up the topics known as the Supremacy Clause and the Doctrine of Preemption. In the simplest of terms, the Supremacy Clause is a clause featured within Article VI of the U.S. Constitution that dictates federal law being the supreme law of the land.
What this means is that when a federal law is in contrast with a state or local law, the federal law must be recognized, respected, and enforced.
But the other element relevant to the Supremacy Clause is that a federal law mustn’t contradict the U.S. Constitution in order to be considered when discussing the applicability of the Doctrine of Preemption.
And with this entire debacle centering around the Second Amendment, things could get dicey when trying to proclaim the Supremacy Clause as being enough proverbial ammunition to supersede Newton County’s latest act protecting the rights and interests of firearms owners.
It will be interesting to see if the existence of this act creates any sort of legal conflict in the future.
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