Tactics For State Nullification Of Federal Gun Laws

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 8 months ago

ABC News:

Having failed in an earlier effort to bar federal agents from enforcing gun regulations in Missouri, conservative lawmakers are trying a new tack this year: banding together with other like-minded states to defy certain federal laws at the same time.

Supporters believe it will be more difficult for the federal government to shrug off such statutes if more states act together.

Missouri’s latest proposal, introduced this past week, would attempt to nullify certain federal gun control regulations from being enforced in the state and subject law enforcement officers to criminal and civil penalties for carrying out such policies.

The state’s Republican-led Legislature came one vote shy of overriding Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of such a measure last year. This year’s bill adds a new twist, delaying the effective date for several years to allow time for other states to join the cause.

“We continue to see the federal government overreach their rightful bounds, and if we can create a situation where we have some unity among states, then I think it puts us in a better position to make that argument,” said Republican Sen. Brian Nieves, who is sponsoring the legislation.

Missouri’s efforts came after President Barack Obama called for expanded federal background checks and a ban on assault weapons following deadly mass shootings at a Colorado theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

Courts have consistently ruled that states cannot nullify federal laws, but that hasn’t stopped states from trying or ignoring them anyway. Last year, a federal appeals court struck down a 2009 Montana law that sought to prohibit federal regulation of guns that were manufactured in the state and remained within its borders.

A similar Kansas law that makes it a felony for a federal agent to attempt to enforce laws on guns made and owned in Kansas earned a rebuke from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

What else would you expect a federal court to decide?  And what else would you expect the communist Eric Holder to say?  We’ve discussed this before.  It is a mistake in strategy to look to the federal courts or any part of the federal government to protect your God-given rights, including your right to own weapons.

And nullification can work, but it has to have the support of the entire legislature and the Governor’s office, since the Governor is the chief law enforcement officer of the state.

These sideline discussions don’t rise to the level of strategy – not yet.  They’re still fumbling around with skirmish tactics.  If you have the full support of the state leaders, the next step is to craft the ensemble of laws for which federal agents will go to the state penitentiary.

Then when the first federal agent of any stripe attempts to enforce any of the laws in the ensemble you have crafted, put his ass in prison among the general population and throw away the key.  And then … use the state National Guard and if need be the unorganized militia to stop any further federal agents or anyone else from coming across state lines to free the federal agents from prison.

Then, and only then, will I believe that anyone is serious about nullification.  Then after other states see the success of the first state, they will learn the tactics and apply them.  And then it will be a strategy.

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Comments

  1. On January 13, 2014 at 1:47 am, Dan said:

    The test of a law….any law, is how effective the enforcement is.
    That includes the issue of immunity…..if “special” people are not
    subject to the law(s) in question then they are not laws…just
    arbitrary rules.

    As for states enforcing these types of laws I wouldn’t hold my
    breath. Lon Horiuchi committed murder in Idaho and when the
    Boundary County DA announced he would actually charge him
    for that crime Uncle Sam brought the full force and weight of their
    power to bear, with the predictable results, Horiuchi was allowed
    to walk away scott free.

    If Sheriff Joe in Podunk, MO with a department of 50 deputies decides
    he’s going to throw Sparky McFed in the slammer for busting a local
    on having an overcapacity magazine or some other stupidity said Sheriff
    had better be calling the gov for State National Guard troops to come back
    him up because the day that type of arrest starts happening is the day we
    see the TRUE reason why the fed government has armed virtually every agent they can and created more SWAT teams than can be counted.

  2. On January 13, 2014 at 5:57 am, Roger J said:

    State National Guards can be “Federalized” as was done in the school desegregation crisis in the 1950s and ’60s. Any assistance Guardsmen can give a pro-nullification Governor will unfortunately be short-lived. I view the nullification laws thus far enacted as only symbolic. They are an indication that some states are becoming weary of a system in which their main role seems to be carrying out the dictates of Federal bureaucrats. It seems a little late to reverse the trend without a cataclysm.

  3. On January 13, 2014 at 9:35 am, Paul B said:

    The test of a law, any law, is whether people will obey it WITHOUT ENFORCEMENT.

    If we all decide a law is not valid and ignore it (low rate speeding) it will not be heavily enforced. Why do you think most PoPo will give you ten over? It is not from the kindness in their hearts.

    I talked with one HP officer who was talking about how a group was trying to declare the cab of a truck a place of business and use that to stop truckers from smoking while going down the road. As my friend said it would be widely ignored and impossible to enforce.

    However allowing a low level of criminal activity will allow a escalation effect on criminal behavior which will lead people to more heinous crimes as they become more brazen.

    If you wonder why it nearly impossible to drive anywhere anymore, that is the reason.

  4. On January 13, 2014 at 11:36 am, James H. said:

    Of course — a Federalized National Guard could decide not to act on that status. Legal problems for all concerned — but that is what revolts are all about. Our founding fathers broke all kinds of British Laws when they rebelled; and, their fates would’ve been ignominious had we lost.

    A line from Shogun: You’ve no right to rebel against your sovereign — unless you win!!

    That’s the gamble.

  5. On January 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm, Federale said:

    The only way for nullification to work is to poison the jury pool. Assistant United States Attorneys fall and rise on their conviction records. If cases are brought to trial and the U.S. Attorney’s Office looses at trial, then they stop taking those cases. There is little a State government can do about a case being brought to Federal trial. A State can prohibit cooperation with Federal law enforcement, but that will matter little. But what does get the attention of the US Attorney’s Office is cases that are loosers. To to that you must convince the public that the laws are unjust and that if called to a jury in a gun control case, the juror will vote to aquit regardless of the facts. Public education will do that. A correlary of public education is that State politicians get that. The only thing they can do is make phone calls to the local US Attorney, who is usually a political hack from the President’s party, though he will be a local party hack. He may or may not want to ruin a career in local politics, e.g. running for governor, etc. This is how he can be influenced, but in the end it comes down to the public when called to jury service, voting to aquit on firearms charges. Otherwise you have to influence politics at a Federal level. But I can assure you that once the local US Attorney’s Office learns through aquitals that gun charges are loosers, then you will have nulification. An example is the strict gun laws in California. In rural areas, charges against those who own illegal assault weapons are not brought by local District Attorneys in such cases unless the person is a prohibited party by felonly conviction. Local juries will aquit in such cases and DAs who enforce those laws are defeated in local elections.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns and was published January 12th, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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