New West Virginia legislation would nullify federal gun laws

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CHARLESTON, W.V., January 21, 2014 –  West Virginia legislator Cindy Frich (R), and five cosponsors have introduced a bill, which would impede the implementation of federal gun control measures, within the state.

House Bill 2832 (HB2832), the “Firearm Protection Act”, explicitly prohibits all state public servants from enforcing any “act, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States Government relating to a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition” provided that the item in question remains “exclusively within the borders of West Virginia.”

From the text of HB2832:

“The purpose of this bill is to create the “Firearm Protection Act” that provides that any federal law effective after March 1, 2013 which attempts to ban semiautomatic firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm or other limitation on firearms in this state is unenforceable in West Virginia.”

The bill’s legal standing is based upon anti-commandeering doctrine and stands with 170 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence.

The Supreme Court has upheld this doctrine repeatedly from 1842 to 2012. “There is absolutely no serious discussion opposing anti-commandeering,” said Mike Maharrey, national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center.  “On top of it,” he continued, “This is just what James Madison advised the people and states to do if they wanted to thwart federal acts.”

Writing in Federalist #46, Madison advised a series of actions which he said would be an effective way to stop both unconstitutional and constitutional federal acts. He referred to them as either “warrantable” or “unpopular.”

These actions included using state “legislative devices” and a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.”

“The federal government simply does not have the manpower or resources to enforce the countless laws they have on the books,” said Maharrey. “All one needs for proof is the miserable failure that the Obama administration has experienced while trying harder than any president in history to stop states rights on marijuana. After a while, they had to throw in the towel.”

In order to move further, HB2832 currently sits in the House Judiciary Committee where it must be passed by a majority vote before going to the House floor for further consideration. A state Senate companion bill must also be voted on before the bill becomes state law.

One may follow the Tenth Amendment Center to track the progress of HB2832.

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