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Minnesota Bill Would Thwart All Federal Gun Control: Past, Present and Future

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A bill filed in Minnesota Thursday would effectively thwart virtually all federal gun control measures on the books, past, present and future.

SF28, the Second Amendment Preservation Act, was filed by Sen. Branden Peterson. If passed, it would prohibit all state and local law enforcement from enforcing or providing material support to the enforcement of “any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation that relates to a personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition within the limits of this state.”

Such a tactic is an extremely effective way to stop a federal government busting at the seams. Even the National Governors Association admitted this recently when it sent out a press release noting that “States are partners with the federal government in implementing most federal programs.” That means states can create impediments to enforcing and implementing “most federal programs,” including those which impose upon the right to keep and bear arms.

James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” advised this strategy specifically.  In Federalist 46 he outlined several steps that states can take to effective stop “an unwarrantable measure,” or “even a warrantable measure” of the federal government. Anticipating the anti-commandeering doctrine, Madison called for “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” as a method of resistance.

Judge Andrew Napolitano last year urged states to introduce and pass this type of legislation, saying that a single state passing such a law would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible to enforce.”

LEGAL BASIS

This legislation rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. Simply put, the federal government cannot “commandeer” or coerce states into implementing or enforcing federal acts or regulations – constitutional or not. The anti-commandeering doctrine rests primarily on four Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. The 1997 case, Printz v. US, serves as the modern day 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.”

Such a tactic is an extremely effective way to stop a federal government busting at the seams. Even the National Governors Association admitted this recently when it sent out a press release noting that “States are partners with the federal government in implementing most federal programs.” That means states can create impediments to enforcing and implementing “most federal programs,” including those which impose upon the right to keep and bear arms.

James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” advised this very tactic.  Madison supplied the blueprint for resisting federal power in Federalist 46. He outlined several steps that states can take to effective stop “an unwarrantable measure,” or “even a warrantable measure” of the federal government. Anticipating the anti-commandeering doctrine, Madison called for “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” as a method of resistance.

Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano last year urged states to introduce and pass this type of legislation specifically, saying that a single state passing such a law would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible to enforce.”

MOMENTUM

Introduction comes at a time when other states are also considering similar bills, building momentum and support for the effort to block federal gun control in the states. Similar bills have already been filed for 2015 in Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and South Carolina, and at least five more states are expected to do the same. Since 2013, Idaho, Alaska and Kansas have already passed into law legislation that pushes back at federal gun control measures with this same strategy.

“We know from modern times that when ten or more states pass laws that seek to block federal acts, the federal government has an extremely difficult time with enforcement,” said Scott Landreth of ShallNot.org. “With three states on the board already, and legislators more willing to take a stand on the right to keep and bear arms, we are well on our way to bringing down some aspects of federal gun control without having to wait on Congress.”

Supporters recognize that passage in Minnesota will be difficult, at best, but Landreth suggested that even introduction and debate on the bill will help educate others and strengthen the movement in other states. “When gun rights activists in places like Utah, Alabama and Pennsylvania see that even legislators in Minnesota are willing to take a chance in a place hostile to the 2nd Amendment, this will create pressure for bills to be introduced in their states too,” he said.

SF28 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary committee, where it will first need to pass by a majority vote before the full senate can consider it.

TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORT

In Minnesota:

1. Contact the chair of the committee. Politely let him know that you’d like to see SF28 moved forward in his committee and sent to the Senate floor.

Ron Latz 
651-297-8065 

2. Call all the other members of the committee.  Strongly, but respectfully urge them to vote YES on SF28 when it comes up for a vote.

Barb Goodwin
651-296-4334 

Warren Limmer
651-296-2159 

Bobby Joe Champion
651-296-9246 

Kari Dziedzic
651-296-7809 

Dan D. Hall 
651-296-5975 

Scott J. Newman
651-296-4131 

Kathy Sheran
651-296-6153  

3.  Call your state senator, urge him or her to cosponsor SF28.  

Contact info here: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

4.  Call your state rep, urge him or her to introduce a similar bill in the house.

Contact info here: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

5. Spread this information widely. By social media and email

ALL OTHER STATES:

Urge your state rep and senator to introduce a similar bill. Send them the link the model legislation at this link: 

http://shallnot.org/legislation

contact info here:  http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator

**WE NEED YOUR HELP TO CONTINUE THIS WORK. PLEASE CHIP IN HERE:http://shallnot.org/donate

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