Federal Gun Laws Nullification In Kansas

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

The Trace:

Three years ago, in a move intended to signal its profound devotion to gun rights — and opposition to new restrictions being weighed by Congress — the Kansas legislature passed a law that never had any chance of actually taking force.

The “Second Amendment Protection Act” declared that federal laws and regulations do not apply to any gun manufactured in the state, so long as it is marked “Made in Kansas” and remains within the state’s borders at all times after its production.

The law — which, again, was invalid from the outset — also applied to ammunition and firearm accessories made in Kansas. It declared that federal law enforcement agents would be guilty of a felony if they attempted to enforce federal laws regarding these products within state borders.

It’s clear now that the legislators who pushed forward the law were well aware of the unresolvable conflict with federal law and the U.S. Constitution, and that they assumed that Kansans would understand that the act was meant to send a message, not to be taken literally.

But some Kansas gun sellers and buyers apparently didn’t get the memo.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 bans the unlicensed possession, manufacture, and sale of silencers, machine guns, and sawed-off shotguns. Many gun enthusiasts argue that the restrictions on silencers are outdated, and that the devices eliminate noise pollution and may stave off hearing damage.

Shane Cox ran a military surplus store in southeastern Kansas, and after the law took effect, he began producing and selling his own silencers. He assured buyers that federal gun laws would not apply as long as the products stayed within state borders and even handed out copies of the new statute.

Jeremy Kettler, a disabled U.S. Army veteran, bought one of the silencers and posted a video about it on Facebook. Both men were soon charged with violating the federal laws that regulate silencers. Kettler bought the unregistered silencer “because of a piece of paper signed by the governor saying it was legal,” the Associated Press reported.

The Kansas statute purported to nullify federal law, much as states like South Carolina had attempted to do prior to the Civil War. But the Supreme Court has ruled that states simply don’t have this authority.

[ … ]

One of the bill’s co-sponsors, former state representative Jim Howell, told the AP that lawmakers knew the measure’s validity would be disputed. “I think these gentlemen understood that when they made a choice to do what they did,” Howell said, of the men arrested over the sale of silencers.

What a cowardly piss ant.  The legislator who pressed this threw his own citizens to the lions when it came to pushing and shoving, and Kansas buckled.

The author is an attorney for the Brady Center, and other than the discussion of the validity of nullification, I actually agree with him for different reasons.  The real culprit here is the state of Kansas.

I’ve said before, don’t even consider something like nullification unless you’re willing to go the mattresses for your people.  The lawmakers could have handed the governor the tools to deal with the federal intrusion, and the governor could have had the balls to do it.

But none of this obtained, and the citizens suffered as a result.  Unless you’re willing to arrest federal agents who attempt to enforce these laws and throw them in the state penitentiary with the other prisoners, don’t even consider nullification.

Nullification laws made for show are immoral.  Nullification laws made for real are admirable, but states have to be willing to back it all up with force.

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Comments

  1. On December 12, 2016 at 2:44 pm, Frank Clarke said:

    I crack enamel off my teeth every time I read something like “…a machinegun made in the State of [wherever] and that has not traveled in interstate commerce cannot be regulated by the Federal Government under the interstate commerce clause.”

    First the I/C clause was intended to grant Congress the power to prevent STATES interfering in the free transfer of value, not persons actually transferring value.

    Second, it is a fundamental principle of jurisprudence that later law trumps earlier law. if the I/C clause ever gave Congress any power over firearms, the Second Amendment revoked that grant.

    It is also provable by direct deduction that the I/C clause is currently misinterpreted. Article I section 8 of the U S Constitution begins “Congress shall have the power to…” and proceeds to list 17 specific things Congress shall have power to do. One of these things is to regulate commerce. If “to regulate commerce” is accepted in its modern interpretation, viz. to micromanage all activity which involves or might conceivably someday involve commerce that has, does, or might in the future involve more than one state, then that is the only power that needs to be granted in I(8), all the others being subsumed within the power to micromanage the economy of the entire United States. Could that have been what the writers intended? “Congress shall have the power to do these 16 things plus anything else that occurs to them”? To ask the question is to know the answer. That’s patently ridiculous!

    The verb “to regulate” meant, at the time the Constitution was written, “to adjust for proper operation (like a clock or a machine)”. Congress is here given authority to make commerce happen, not to prevent it happening. Its power is the power to keep states from tossing their shoes into the gearbox. We are supposed to be living in The Free Trade Zone of the United States, and the only reason we’re not is that somebody misinterpreted the I/C clause.

  2. On December 12, 2016 at 3:49 pm, Fred said:

    I love this comment. Thank you.

    I would humbly correct one word that you wrote in the last sentence; Change misinterpreted to reinterpreted.

    I would even throw in a qualifier such as ‘purposefully’ or ‘willfully’ but that’s just me.

  3. On December 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm, Duke Norfolk said:

    Yes but none of that means anything, unfortunately, up against our federal govt’s proverbial 2+2=5 (ala 1984) and that means “we can do anything we want.”

  4. On December 12, 2016 at 3:59 pm, Duke Norfolk said:

    Well said. And the lesson to us all is never to trust politicians or govt agents unless they’ve given you lots of reason to do so (e.g. certain sheriffs like Richard Mack). They’re almost all self-serving snakes.

  5. On December 12, 2016 at 7:39 pm, Pat Hines said:

    While you may hear Wickard vs. Filburn bandied about, it simply does not apply.

    The Supremacy Clause does not apply either and that’s what the Marxist that wrote that essay was relying upon. The Supremacy Clause has a little used, but important limiter. It says that all laws written within the limits of the Constitution are Supreme, but any not so written are not. The precise language is

    Article VI: “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

    “which shall be made in pursuance thereof” is the limiting language. Any law not made under the limits of the US constitution, which includes the Second Amendment, are not supreme in any legal way. This must be enforced, one way, or another.

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You are currently reading "Federal Gun Laws Nullification In Kansas", entry #16115 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control and was published December 11th, 2016 by Herschel Smith.

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