On Monday, Rep. Dan Eagle (R-Cape Coral) introduced HB733. The legislation is titled The Second Amendment Protection Act, modeled after similar legislation being introduced in state legislatures across the United States.
The legislation states that no agent of the state or its political subdivisions may participate with or assist federal agents in the enforcement of federal firearms laws, or provide material support of any kind to federal agents in the enforcement of these laws. State agents and/or contractors who knowingly participate in or provide support for the enforcement of federal firearms laws would be subject to dismissal.
Rep. Eagle said, “The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution expressly provides that all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states. Time and time again, Florida has proven that we have the best solutions to our own issues, whether it be healthcare, education, or our balanced budget, which is accomplished without raising taxes. When it comes to protecting our fundamental Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution, I believe it is best left to be handled by Floridians for Floridians.”
While the legislation lacks the teeth to actually stop federal agents from enforcing gun laws, it would, in essence, remove any state resources from being involved in federal activity regarding federal gun laws. This is the one flaw in the bill. If a law is deemed unlawful and in need of nullification, then it should also contain language that demands that state officials also oppose federal agents that seek to enforce unlawful laws.
Florida Tenth Amendment Center outreach director Francisco Rodriguez said the proposed act would make it very difficult for the federal government to enforce its gun laws.
“The federal government relies on state and local assistance for almost everything. One source I read indicated that state or local police assist in seven out of every 10 ATF raids. That’s a lot of help that will disappear in the blink of an eye,” he said. “Now imagine if 20 or 30 states followed suit. It would make it virtually impossible for the feds to violate the Second Amendment.”
Florida Tenth Amendment Center state coordinator Andrew Nappi commented on a telephone interview he had with Rep. Eagle last year.
“The timing last year just could not be worked out. But Representative Eagle said he would not forget about this bill and he didn’t. He remained true to his word, and we began working with him on this last fall,” Nappi said. “This is a substantial attempt to push back against federal actions violating the Second Amendment. Representative Eagle has not only kept his word by sponsoring the bill this year, he set an example for others who say they support the Second Amendment, but stop short of taking action.”
In a lawsuit brought by Sheriff Richard Mack against the federal government over provisions in the 1993 Brady Gun Bill, requiring chief law enforcement officers in each county to administer background checks, the Supreme Court held that the feds couldn’t force state officers to comply. The majority opinion read in part:
“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.”
Within the past year, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas, Alabama, and Missouri have all pushed to nullify federal gun laws. Our own Publius Huldah has communicated quite clearly why any and all federal gun laws are unconstitutional.
According to sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center, a Senate version of the bill is in the works.
Your help is needed. You can help by doing the following:
- Contact your State Representative. You can find your legislator’s contact information by clicking here.
- Contact your State Senator. You can find your legislator’s contact information by clicking here.
- Call Back – any NO or UNDECIDED – in 3-4 days.
- Contact the House Speaker. House Speaker Will Weatherford – (850) 717-5038.
This bill is vital in light of the renewed attack on Stand Your Ground laws, following the Trayvon Martin shooting by the Obama Justice Department.