2 weeks ago
AUSTIN, Texas (December 1, 2014) – Today, two bills were filed in the Texas state house that would have the effect of nullifying virtually all federal gun control measures in the state. Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center say that the bills have a good chance of passage, but only with strong grassroots support.
Introduced by Rep.Matthew Krause, (R-Ft. Worth) House Bill 422 (HB422) would require that the state refuse to enforce almost all federal gun control measures enacted at anytime – past, present or future. It reads, in part:
An agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state, and a law enforcement officer or other person employed by an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state, may not contract with or in any other manner provide assistance to a federal agency or official with respect to the enforcement of a federal statute, order, rule, or regulation purporting to regulate a firearm, a firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition if the statute, order, rule, or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation, such as a capacity or size limitation or a registration requirement, that does not exist under the laws of this state.
This would make a huge dent in any new federal effort to further restrict the right to keep and bear arms in Texas. As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government absolutely cannot enforce gun control in Texas without the help of Texas.
A similar bill introduced by Krause in 2013 (HB928) passed out of the state house by a vote of 102-31, but since it was held to late in the session, the Senate never had the opportunity to concur.
Also introduced today is a bill known as the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. Filed by Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Ft. Worth), House Bill 413 (HB413) is an exact duplicate of HB176 filed last month by outgoing Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington). Since Kleinschmidt is retiring from the state house to accept a new position with the state, HB176 is considered “dead” and HB413 is the active bill in its place.
HB413 declares all federal restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms to be “invalid” and “not enforceable” within the state of Texas. It reads, in part:
A federal law, including a statute, an executive, administrative, or court order, or a rule, that infringes on a law-abiding citizen’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution or Section 23, Article I, Texas Constitution, is invalid and not enforceable in this state.
If passed into law, all government agencies and employees within Texas would be banned from enforcing any federal law in violation of the act.
Read the Tenth Amendment Center for the rest of the details, one of which is a nice restriction on universal background checks and gun registration. Of course as readers know, this one is near and dear to my heart.
And true enough, lack of participation by state and local law enforcement would make, let’s say, a ban on standard capacity magazines, completely unenforceable. There is nothing wrong with the bills as constituted. But they don’t go nearly far enough.
For instance, what if a federal requirement is enacted for FFLS to do something or other that most Texans believe infringes on their rights under the Texas constitution? The ATF can then threaten the FFL with revocation of their license, or perhaps even worse, fines and prison time, if he does not comply. The federal government wins – unless, that is, the authorities in Texas are willing to send Texas law enforcement to arrest agents of the DoJ and ATF who reside in or enter the boundaries of Texas, with mandatory prison time as a consequence.
Just how free do Texans consider themselves? The same question goes for the rest of us.