by Anna M. Tinsley, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

A Texas lawmaker wants to further push state sovereignty from the federal government.

Rep. Leo Berman, a former Arlington mayor pro tem, has filed a bill to make guns, ammunition and gun parts that are made, sold and kept in Texas free from federal regulation.

That would exempt them from federal gun registration, dealer licensing rules and buyer background checks. State laws would still apply.

“This does two things,” said Berman, a Tyler Republican. “It tests our sovereignty in relationship to the federal government, and it would attract new small gun manufacturers to the state to manufacture certain types of weapons and ammunition that are only used in intrastate commerce.”

Guns and sovereignty are fiery issues in the Lone Star State, where residents resist federal regulations that could trample on either right.

Sparks flew last month when Gov. Rick Perry talked about how some Texans might want the state to secede from the U.S. and when a bill advanced in the Legislature to tell the federal government to “cease and desist” imposing regulations on the state.

Berman’s bill, similar to measures in Montana and Alaska, would push the sovereignty button even further.

The bill is pending in the House Public Safety Committee.


Berman said his bill is geared to help smaller “mom and pop” gun, ammunition and gun-part makers in Texas.

Those who make and sell their products in the state would put a “Made in Texas” stamp on items meant to stay in Texas.