State 2nd Amendment Preservation Acts

by | Jun 15, 2021

As of June 15, 2021 5 states have express prohibitions on the enforcement of federal gun control – current, and/or future. A number of other states have similar legislation, but with potentially large loopholes that will allow all enforcement to continue. And laws have claimed to create a 2nd Amendment “Sanctuary” for the state while banning enforcement of absolutely nothing.

States with express prohibitions on enforcement

Arizona HB2111 bans the state from participating in the enforcement of any federal gun control measure – past, present or future – that doesn’t exist in the laws of the state. Learn more here.

Missouri HB85 bans any entity or person, including any public officer or employee of the state and its political subdivisions, from enforcing any past, present or future federal “acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, regulations, statutes, or ordinances” that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms – and includes a wide range of acts defined as such. The law also includes a number of possible sanctions for violations of the act by individuals and local agencies. Learn more here

Texas HB957 repeals Texas code criminalizing owning a firearm “silencer,” more accurately referred to as a sound “suppressor” – outside of Federal regulations. It also bans the state from enforcing any federal restrictions on suppressors that don’t exist under the laws of the state.  Learn more here.

Idaho S1205 builds upon a 2014 act to add prohibitions on enforcement of any federal gun control measure – from 2021 and forward – that would be counter to the protections for the right to keep and bear arms in the state constitution. Learn more here.

Montana HB258 prohibits police officers, state employees, and employees of any political subdivision of the state from enforcing, assisting in the enforcement of, or otherwise cooperating in the enforcement of any new “federal ban” on firearms, magazines, or ammunition. HB258 broadly defines “federal ban” as “a federal law, executive order, rule, regulation that is enacted, adopted, or becomes effective on or after January 1, 2021, or a new and more restrictive interpretation of an existing  law that existed on January 1, 2021, that infringes upon, calls in question, or prohibits, restricts, or requires individual licensure for or registration of the purchase, ownership, possession, transfer, or use of any firearm, any magazine or other ammunition feeding device, or other firearm accessory.” Learn more here

State Laws with Loopholes or Further Action Needed

North Dakota HB1383 effectively bars state enforcement of future federal gun control that is more restrictive than state law, but the law includes language that could be a pretty significant loophole. State or local agents can cooperate with the enforcement of banned future federal gun control if a federal court finds probable cause that “a national security threat exists.” It also gives law enforcement plenty of wiggle room to continue working on joint state/federal task forces when federal gun control is incidentally enforced. Learn more here

Arkansas HB1957 is extremely convoluted and could leave a loophole for law enforcement officers to continue enforcing federal gun control. It specifically bars state and local agents from enforcing acts that “conflict with Arkansas Constitution, Article 2, § 5, or any Arkansas law.” Law enforcement lobby groups are likely to promote the view that “it’s not the job of a law enforcement officer to determine what’s constitutional or not.” And in practice, that means law enforcement agents could plausibly continue helping in the enforcement of all federal gun control in Arkansas until a court tells them to do otherwise. Learn more here

South Carolina H3094 includes provisions to review any federal law, treaty, executive order, rule, or regulation “related to an individual’s right to keep and bear arms enshrined in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution that limits or proscribes carrying concealable weapons.” The AG is required to evaluate any such federal act and issue a written opinion determining if it “purports to compel legislative or executive action.” If the Attorney General renders an opinion that the federal act purports to compel legislative or executive action related to an individual’s right to keep and bear arms enshrined in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution that limits or proscribes carrying concealable weapons, state agencies and political subdivisions, along with their employees, will be prohibited from using personnel or public funds to enforce the federal action. Learn more here

West Virginia HB2694 bans enforcement of federal red flag laws, but leaves state and local police free to enforce virtually all other federal gun control – present and future. Learn more here

Texas HB2622 is a ban on any future federal gun control (2021 and beyond) but leaves the state free to continue enforcement under any agreements to do so currently in effect, In practice, this likely means that all future federal control will continue to be enforced by the state. Learn more here

State Laws with no Ban on Enforcement of Anything

Oklahoma SB631 claims to make the state a “Second Amendment Sanctuary,” but doesn’t ban the state from enforcing or participating in the enforcement of any federal gun measure, whatsoever. Learn more here

Tennessee SB1335 claims to make the state a “Second Amendment Sanctuary,” but also specifies that the state will only stop enforcement of any federal gun control if the state or federal supreme court tells them to stop. Read the bill here

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