Despite attempts by progressives to erase it from the Constitution, the Second Amendment remains as valid today as it was when it was ratified. And James Madison’s blueprint for states to take action to protect it from federal violations remains the best option on the table.
It seems hardly a day passes that we don’t hear about a new proposal coming out of Washington D.C. that will violate your right to keep and bear arms. From assault weapon bans to limits on magazine size, federal politicians and bureaucrats seem able to come up with an infinite number of ways to limit your ability to defend yourself and your family. But there is hope, and a path to victory.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution for the United States includes, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Simply put, the federal government has no constitutional authority to restrict your natural right to keep and bear arms.
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “In questions of power…let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
But if the federal government won’t respect its own limits, how do we keep those chains applied?
James Madison, often referred to as “The Father of the Constitution”, gave us the blueprint for stopping federal overreach before the Constitution was even ratified. In Federalist 46 Madison wrote that when the federal government commits an unwarranted act, such as infringing on the right to keep and bear arms, or even a “warrantable act” that is simply unpopular, “the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand.” Madison went on to outline several steps that states could take, including “refusal to cooperate with officers of the union.” He also envisioned “legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions.”
In other words, Madison suggested that when the federal government passes “laws” that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms, the states should refuse to cooperate with their implementation and enforcement, and pass legislation directing its agencies and employees to refuse to lift a finger to assist the federal government in any way. Madison’s strategy was to stand down when asked to help enforce federal gun laws, rules, orders or regulations.
The 2nd Amendment Preservation Act (2APA) is a simple, yet powerful tool for states to protect the right to keep and bear arms from federal infringement.
In short, the 2APA prohibits the use of state resources to help the feds violate the natural right to keep and bear arms.
The bill first establishes the legal basis of the state action.
that pursuant to and in furtherance of the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, the federal government may not commandeer this State’s officers, agents, or employees to participate in the enforcement or facilitation of any federal program not expressly required by the Constitution of the United States.
The legislation goes on to prohibit the state from, “Knowingly and willingly participate in any way in the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this act regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition.”
Based on James Madison’s advice, validated by the Supreme Court with the anti-commandeering legal doctrine, the 2APA bans all state and local employees from providing material support or resources to the enforcement of any future federal acts on firearms, accessories and ammunition.
This is a powerful, strategic step forward. One in which Judge Andrew Napolitano recently said would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.