Gun Laws: States Versus Feds

In the endless fight to preserve our rights, sometimes we find positive news. This past year alone, almost 400 county sheriffs in more than a dozen states vowed that they would refuse to enforce gun laws they deemed unconstitutional and/or over-reaching.

This started last March when county sheriffs in Wyoming demanded that federal agents actually abide by the Constitution or face arrest. Even more surprising (and refreshing) was that a U.S. Federal District Court agreed:

“The court decision was the result of a suit against both the BATF and the IRS by Mattis and other members of the Wyoming Sheriff’s Association. The suit in the Wyoming federal court district sought restoration of the protections enshrined in the United States Constitution and the Wyoming State Constitution.”  

Thankfully, the District Court ruled in favor of the sheriffs. In fact, they stated:

“Wyoming is a sovereign state and the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers exceeding that of any other state or federal official.”

A few months later, the Daily Caller (May 18, 2013) reported that sheriffs in Colorado were mounting a similar offensive against onerous new gun restrictions in their state, now dominated by liberal Democrats:

“A consortium of plaintiffs led by 54 of Colorado’s 62 elected county sheriffs filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state in an effort to overturn two new gun control bills that are set to go into effect on July 1st.”

But, no surprise, the anti-gun-rights crowd has reacted by trying to pass legislation that would allow local authorities to fire sheriffs who don’t support federal gun control measures. According to the Washington Examiner:

“The first effort emerged in Texas. Legislation proposed by Dallas Democrat Representative Yvonne Davis would remove any sheriff or law enforcement officer who refuses to enforce state or federal laws. What’s more, it would remove any elected or appointed law enforcement officer for simply stating or signing any document stating that they will not obey federal orders.”

A pro-gun rights lobbyist warned:

“Beware, because once something like this is introduced in one state, it will be followed very quickly in several other states.”

He’s right. Laws that often begin in liberal, anti-gun states on the East and West coasts inevitably establish dangerous precedents for other states to point to and follow. The outrageous gun registration scheme that just took effect in Connecticut is a perfect example (see USCCA founder Tim Schmidt’s January 10, 2014 column). People lined up like sheep, in spite of the fact that:

“Not one gun owner who was registering firearms or magazines said they think the new laws will reduce gun violence.”

And lately, the Obama Administration, from Joe Biden to Eric Holder, has been beating the war drums in support of having the president simply ignore the legislative process and use Executive Orders to violate the rights of innocent citizens.

If Congress sits on their collective hands and does nothing to stop them, these orders will have the effect of law. So make sure you and everyone you know make your voices heard, loudly and clearly, to every candidate in the fast-approaching mid-term elections.

Related: Know the Gun Laws of Your State…

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