In 2013, Second Amendment supporters sighed a breath of relief as numerous proposed federal gun laws went down in flames.
However, the reality is that this could change in the blink of an eye, and we simply can’t sit back and hope the feds will just give up and go away.
In 1993, Congress passed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which mandated background checks on firearm purchases. A similar bill could easily pass. Or, the president may simply issue executive orders.
This is all in violation of the Second Amendment, which states the right of the people to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.”
All federal acts restricting or limiting firearms in any way are unconstitutional.
Needless to say, neither Congress nor the president are concerned very much about adhering to what the Bill of Rights says.
The good news, however, that the states hold the power in their hands to mark any new federal gun laws or executive orders “DOA” – Dead on Arrival.
Specifically, there are three steps that the states can take to halt the enforcement of federal gun laws.
Step 1. Draw a line in the sand.
Unconstitutional federal gun laws go back as far as 1934. Idaho has set the stage to begin rolling them back.It’s simply impractical to try to erase 70 years of federal overreach in one year. But step-by-step, we can stop the bleeding so the wound will heal.
Anti-comandeering laws are a crucial first step, as they act as a bandage to start the healing. We need to have state legislatures pass laws which ban state enforcement of any and all future federal gun control measures. Idaho took the lead in 2014. Multiplied across numerous states, it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the federal government to enact any new law relating to firearms.
With the principle of non-cooperation with federal action established, lawmakers can move forward to address laws already on the books the violate the Second Amendment.
Step 2. Fortify and build
Introduction of a step-one bill begins the process of building the movement necessary to gain further support. We use the legislation as a platform to begin creating coalitions with any supportive activists/groups within the state, regardless of party or political affiliation. The strategy involves working together with supporters and grassroots activists on the ground in the state.
Once the step-one bill passes, the movement gains even more momentum. By aggressively publicizing the victories, we help solidify in the public’s mind the states’ ability to protect the Second Amendment without permission from politicians in D.C.
Step 3. Go on the offensive.
Once passed, anti-comandeering bills addressing only future federal gun laws need to be expanded with follow-up legislation banning the enforcement of all current federal gun control measures.
This can prove to be a very tall mountain to climb, which means initially our goals have to be limited to what is practically achievable.
Missouri, for example, probably counts as a state most open to aggressive action to protect the Second Amendment, and yet it failed to get this type of legislation passed in both 2013 and 2014. Texas and Arizona also failed to pass similar bills.
It only demonstrates the challenges we are likely to encounter trying to achieve our goal.
Nevertheless, it can be done if we first lay the groundwork.
John Dickinson, a leading Founding Father and noted statesman known as “the Penman of the Revolution” once wrote, “small things grow great by concord.”
A small first step will lead to bigger steps.
And, ultimately, to victory.