3 weeks, 6 days ago
With the stroke of a pen Tuesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) turned a controversial bill into law that will allow third parties to sue municipalities over local gun codes stronger than the state’s.
The measure, added as an amendment to a metal theft bill, had passed the state legislature earlier this month by wide margins. It allows groups such as the National Rifle Association to stand in for local citizens in challenging gun city and county control ordinances stronger than the state’s own laws in court.
With Corbett’s signature, the new law will take effect in 60 days, potentially dozens of strict city and county firearms laws under the gaze of gun rights groups such as the NRA, who called the bill Tuesday, “the strongest firearms preemption statute in the country.”
Now for federal threats:
Members of Congress who want to infringe on your right to keep and bear arms will never give up. Fortunately, through our states we can effectively render any new federal gun laws powerless by using a legal doctrine upheld repeatedly by the Supreme Court.
This is done by depriving the feds of any enforcement assistance by local law enforcement agencies in their state, a doctrine known as “anti-commandeering.”
Essentially, it provides that state legislation can prohibit state law enforcement from aiding the federal agencies attempting to enforce federal gun laws.
In other words, the federal government cannot require a state to carry out federal acts. The federal government can pass a law and try to enforce it, but the state isn’t required to help them.
Is this legal?
It is according to the US Supreme Court. For 150 years it has repeatedly affirmed the constitutionality of anti-commandeering laws.
Relevant court cases include:
* 1842 Prigg v. Pennslvania: The court held that states weren’t required to enforce federal slave rendition laws.
* 1992 New York v. US: The court held that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.
* 1997 Printz v. US: The court held that “the federal government may not compel the states to enact or administer a federal regulatory program.”
* 2012 Independent Business v. Sebelius: The Court held that the federal government can not compel states to expand Medicaid by threatening to withhold funding for Medicaid programs already in place.
What do you notice to be common between these articles concerning advocacy for state’s rights? Answer: turning to the courts for moral and legal justification.
The new law in Pennsylvania would be impressive if only it had prepared the infrastructure to send state law enforcement after local authorities if they didn’t observe our rights. Nullification of local regulations combined with spending some quality time in the hoosegow for the local politicians would send a strong signal to those who would ignore the law. Frankly, I cannot imagine a weaker state government than one which passes a law only to have cities and townships ignore it, and then have to turn to the courts to tell the local authorities to obey the state laws. It’s embarrassing and scandalous.
And turning to the federal courts to tell ourselves that it’s okay to ignore the federal authorities when their edicts violate the covenant upon which they are supposed to labor and lead is equally embarrassing. More than simply not aiding federal authorities in their totalitarian measures, state law enforcement ought to be sent to arrest said federal authorities, throw them in the state penitentiary, and throw away the key.