While many gun owners and gun rights activists across the country are waiting fretfully in anticipation of President Obama’s eventual decision to issue executive orders for more gun control, his proposals would be practically worthless if more states enacted laws like Idaho did last year.
In 2014, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signed legislation into law that effectively blocks in practice any new federal gun control measures by prohibiting state enforcement of any future federal act relating to personal firearms, a firearm accessories or ammunition.
This law blocks in practice future federal gun control because the federal government lacks the resources to enforce its laws alone. It depends on state assistance, assistance it will no longer get from Idaho. Judge Andrew Napolitano suggested that a single state standing down would make new federal gun laws “nearly impossible to enforce” within that state.
The Idaho Federal Firearm, Magazine and Register Ban Enforcement Act, seeks to “protect Idaho law enforcement officers from being directed, through federal executive orders, agency orders, statutes, laws, rules, or regulations enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this act, to violate their oath of office and Idaho citizens’ rights under Section 11, Article I, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho.”
The legislation continues:
“any official, agent or employee of the state of Idaho or a political subdivision thereof who knowingly and willfully orders an official, agent or employee of the state of Idaho or a political subdivision of the state to enforce any executive order, agency order, law, rule or regulation of the United States government as provided in subsection (2) of this section upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition shall, on a first violation, be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) which shall be paid into the general fund of the state”
Kansas and Tennessee have also passed legislation that sets the foundation to do just what Idaho did in 2014.
As James Madison argued in Federalist 46, a single state can impede federal actions, but many states acting together can create obstructions the feds simply cannot overcome.
All other states should join Idaho and take that first step in stopping any new gun control program before it ever gets off the ground.