People tell me all the time local cops would never enforce any kind of federal gun grab. I call B.S.
I’m a little unclear as to what gives them this confidence. Local cops already enforce all kinds of unconstitutional gun control — every single day. And it’s not like they do it reluctantly. They enforce federal gun laws enthusiastically and oppose any efforts to stop them from doing it.
This is a fact that seems to be lost on a lot of people – all federal gun control is unconstitutional. All of it. Every federal gun control law, from the regulation of machine guns to federal background checks, is unconstitutional.
- The National Firearms Act of 1934? Unconstitutional.
- The Federal Firearms Act of 1938? Unconstitutional.
- The Gun Control Act of 1968? Unconstitutional.
- The Firearm Owners Protection Act (1986)? Unconstitutional.
You get the idea.
Even without the Second Amendment, the federal government would have very little authority to craft firearms regulations. It can only lawfully exercise its delegated powers, with all others reserved to the states and the people. There is no delegated power to regulate firearms. We find the only Congressional power relating to weaponry in Art. I Sec. 8 – “arming…the Militia.” The Constitution does not authorize any general federal firearms regulating power.
Even so, under the original Constitution, the federal government could arguably regulate firearms in the process of exercising another legitimate power – particularly regulating interstate commerce. The Second Amendment slams that door closed.
…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Infringe – v: Act so as to limit or undermine (something)? encroach on.
Simply put, the federal government may not constitutionally act in any way that limits the right to keep and bear arms.
So, while you could argue that under the original Constitution, the commerce clause empowers the feds to restrict and regulate the sale of guns, ammunition, and gun-related accessories across state lines, the Second Amendment supersedes the commerce clause whenever a given regulation encroaches or limits the right to keep and bear arms.
The Thin Blue Line
Today, your state and local police departments help enforce all of this and more. And as I’ve already mentioned, they don’t do it reluctantly. In fact, police lobby groups fiercely oppose any attempt to limit state and local enforcement of this unconstitutional gun control.
This year, legislatures across the country have considered bills to stop enforcement of federal gun control. They can legally do so based on the anti-commandeering doctrine. The biggest opponents of these bills have been sheriffs’ associations, police chief associations, and other groups representing cops. They have gotten these bills killed in some states and significantly watered down in others.
Because they don’t want to “jeopardize” their relationships with their “federal partners.” That is more important than the Constitution. After all, there is no money or power in standing up for the Second Amendment.
Police claim it’s a matter of public safety. If they don’t work with the feds, dangerous criminals will go free. This is B.S.
State and local cops can go after dangerous criminals under state laws. But they like using federal gun charges to ratchet up penalties and as a bargaining chip to force plea deals. They also like the money and toys that go along with working with the feds.
And almost all of these “partnerships” revolve around the federal “war on drugs,” which, by the way, is also unconstitutional. If you doubt this, ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol nationally. Why is marijuana any different?
The bottom line is if you oppose gun control but support the federal drug war, you’re a hypocrite.
In fact, the whole notion of federal law enforcement is mostly unconstitutional. Police powers were specifically highlighted as authority that would remain exclusively with the state by supporters of the Constitution during ratification. Constitutionally, federal policing should be broadly limited to federal enclaves such as Washington D.C.
But today, we basically have a national police force. It operates under euphemisms such as “joint task forces” and “state/federal partnerships.” The bottom line is you local cops work for the feds every single day. They like it that way. And they aren’t about to risk those partnerships so you can keep your AR-15. I see the evidence every single day as I watch these cop lobbies oppose every effort to stop enforcement of federal gun control and dumb Republicans bowing to the pressure.
Like it or not – there is something between you and your guns – a thin blue line.
Second Amendment Sanctuaries
States and even localities can create “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” in much the same way some have formed immigration sanctuaries. They simply have to stop participating in the enforcement of federal gun laws.
The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”
Based on James Madison’s advice for states and individuals in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, he noted that a single state taking this step would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.
As already mentioned, several states have considered legislation to stop enforcement of federal gun control. Unfortunately, many of these have been killed or significantly watered down due to intense law enforcement lobbying. In the process, some state legislators play fast and loose with the term “Second Amendment Sanctuary.” They move forward bills that address future federal gun control only, and even make exceptions for “state/federal partnerships,” and then call them sanctuary bills.
They are no such thing.
A bill that leaves room for any state cooperation with the enforcement of federal gun control does not create a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.” It’s may be a good start. It may be strategically the best step forward we can take right now. But it’s not a sanctuary bill. Again, ALL federal gun control violates the Second Amendment.
Don’t let cops and crafty politicians hoodwink you. If you care about the Constitution, you have to address all federal gun control – not just what might be coming down the pike,
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