NASHVILLE, March 18, 2014- Senate Republicans in Tennessee voted to kill a pro-Second Amendment bill that would have protected Tennessee citizens from unconstitutional federal gun laws on Tuesday.
SB1607, sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers (R), would have made it illegal for state employees and agencies to “cooperate to impose, collect, enforce, or effectuate any fine, penalty, or other federal enactment or federal enforcement action in this state (Tennessee).”
The legislation continued:
(a) Any federal enactment or federal enforcement action relating to firearms,
firearm accessories or ammunition, is void in this state.
(b) Any federal enactment or federal enforcement action impacting or infringing
upon the rights of individuals or entities relative to firearms, firearm accessories or
ammunition, is void in this state.
Those found in violation of the law would have been subject to possible charges of a Class A misdemeanor leading up to possible Class C felony for subsequent offenses.
The final vote was 3-4 (one abstention). Republican senators Campfield, Green and Bell voted in favor of the bill. Joining Senator Finney (D), Republican senators Kelsey, Overby, and Stevens voted to kill the bill. Senator Ford (D) abstained.
Those Republicans voting against the bill attempted to cite that federal law was supreme over state law, which would make Beavers’ bill in violation of Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution. This clause is often cited as the “Supremacy Clause”.
However, these Republicans are misinterpreting the clause. The clause reads: “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… [emphasis added].” This means that only laws, which are passed in pursuance to the federal Constitution, can be considered supreme over state laws.
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government delegated the power to pass any sort of restriction, mandate or law with regards to arms. In fact, one only need to read the Second Amendment to note that the federal Constitution itself explicitly prohibits it.
Therefore, no federal law with regards to arms can be considered supreme. These laws have not been made in pursuance to the federal Constitution due to the fact that the Constitution explicitly prohibits such laws.