by Chuck Baldwin
According to a report published on the Tenth Amendment Center’s web site, “Introduced in the Ohio House on October 16, 2009, the ‘Firearms Freedom Act’ (HB-315) seeks ‘To enact section 2923.26 of the Revised Code to provide that ammunition, firearms, and firearm accessories that are manufactured and remain in Ohio are not subject to federal laws and regulations derived under Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce and to require the words “Made in Ohio” be stamped on a central metallic part of any firearm manufactured and sold in Ohio.'”
The report went on to say, “While the HB315’s title focuses on federal gun regulations, it has far more to do with the 10th Amendment’s limit on the power of the federal government. It specifically states:
“‘The regulation of intrastate commerce is vested in the states under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, particularly if not expressly preempted by federal law. The congress of the United States has not expressly preempted state regulation of intrastate commerce pertaining to the manufacture on an intrastate basis of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition.’
“Some supporters of the legislation say that a successful application of such a state-law would set a strong precedent and open the door for states to take their own positions on a wide range of activities that they see as not being authorized to the Federal Government by the Constitution.”
See the report here.
Two states have already passed their own Firearms Freedom Acts: Montana and Tennessee. And, along with Ohio, at least 7 other states have introduced similar bills. Those states are Alaska, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.
More information regarding the status of these State bills can be seen here.
As you might suspect, the federal government doesn’t take too kindly to these State laws. In fact, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) sent an open letter to all Montana and Tennessee firearms dealers denouncing the State laws. ATF assistant director Carson Carroll wrote that “Federal law supersedes the Act.”
The Tenth Amendment Center quotes constitutional historian Kevin Gutzman as correctly stating, “Their [ATF’s] view is that the states exist for the administrative convenience of the Federal Government, and so of course any conflict between state and federal policy must be resolved in favor of the latter.
“This is another way of saying that the Tenth Amendment is not binding on the Federal Government. Of course, that amounts to saying that federal officials have decided to ignore the Constitution when it doesn’t suit them.”
Ah! But that’s just the problem: the federal government has been ignoring the Constitution for decades–so much so that if there is going to be any restoration of genuine liberty in the country, the states are going to have to stand up to this out-of-control national leviathan and say, “No.” And they are going to have to say it loudly enough for Washington to get the message. And I cannot think of a freedom issue that is better to “draw a line in the sand” for than the issue of the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
At the end of the day, the Second Amendment was never about hunting or target shooting. It has always been about protecting the people and states against federal tyranny.
The Second Amendment itself states, “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.” (Emphasis added.) N