Two bills filed in the Mississippi House and Senate would make it an express duty of the state government to protect the gun rights of Mississippians against federal gun control measures.
House Bill 1297 (HB1297) was filed by Rep. Staples last week. It declares “All federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms are a violation of the Second Amendment.”
In other words, as the Founders understood, the federal government has no authority over firearms, period.
The bill goes on to declare that all such federal acts are “invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.”
It continues with a requirement to stop federal gun control in the state:
It shall be the duty of the Legislature of this state to adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations in violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Senate Bill 2715 (SB2715) works with HB1297 by implementing specific actions to help thwart some federal gun control. It bans State and Local authorities from enabling some Federal enforcement:
No state agency, department, political subdivision of the state or any agent or employee of a state agency, department or political subdivision shall plan, implement, assist, participate in, enable or cooperate with any federal law, rule, regulation or order created or effective on or after January 1, 2016, if the law rule, regulation or order attempts to:
(a) Ban or restrict ownership of a semiautomatic firearm or any magazine of a firearm;
(b) Require any firearm, magazine or other firearm accessory to be registered in any manner;
(c) Confiscate a firearm, magazine or other firearm accessory from law-abiding Mississippi citizens; or
(d) Take, with or without compensation, any privately owned real property because of any international treaty or agency agreement entered into by the federal government.
“The 2nd Amendment is in danger, the states need to protect it from federal violation,” said Michael Boldin, executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center. “In 1798, Thomas Jefferson authored a resolution for Kentucky calling on states to stop federal overreach, and it’s pretty hard to argue that the guy who wrote the Declaration of Independence was wrong about how to stop federal power,” Boldin continued.
REFUSAL TO COOPERATE
Based on James Madison’s advice for states and individuals in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” is an extremely effectively method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership in the states.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a recent televised discussion on the issue, he noted that a single state taking this step would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.
Refusing to participate with federal enforcement is not just an effective method, it has also been sanctioned by the Supreme Court in a number of major cases, dating from 1842.
The 1997 case, Printz v. US serves as the cornerstone. In it, Justice Scalia held:
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.
As noted Georgetown Law Constitutional Scholar Randy Barnett has said, “This line of cases is now 20 years old and considered well settled.”
Both bills have been assigned to committee, where they will need to pass before each legislative chamber has an opportunity to consider them.
TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORT
In Mississippi: Follow the steps to support this bill at THIS LINK
ALL OTHER STATES: Take action to support this effort in your state at this link.