Lots of activity has been happening at the State level since the re-launch of The Right Side of Life.com concerning push-backs on health care, the Second Amendment, and illegal immigration (most updates via the TenthAmendmentCenter.com blog):
On 06/02/09, Kentucky State Representative Stan Lee prefiled House Concurrent Resolution 10 (HCR10) for the 2010 legislative session.
The purpose of the resolution is to claim “sovereignty over powers not granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution; serve notice to the federal government to cease mandates beyond its authority; and to state Kentucky’s position that federal legislation that requires states to comply under threat of loss of federal funding should be prohibited or repealed.”
The full text of the bill can be found at the referenced link.
Also in Kentucky, my wife referenced a recent story concerning a pastor who’s invited parishoners to bring their guns to church in celebration of July 4th…
New Bethel Church is welcoming “responsible handgun owners” to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.
“We’re just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation,” said pastor Ken Pagano. “And we’re not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms – without that this country wouldn’t be here.”
The guns must be unloaded and private security will check visitors at the door, Pagano said.
He said recent church shootings, including the killing Sunday of a late-term abortion provider in Kansas, which he condemned, highlight the need to promote safe gun ownership. The New Bethel Church event was planned months before Dr. George Tiller was shot to death in a Wichita church.
Kentucky allows residents to openly carry guns in public with some restrictions. Gun owners carrying concealed weapons must have state-issued permits and can’t take them to schools, jails or bars, among other exceptions.
Pagano’s Protestant church, which attracts up to 150 people to Sunday services, is a member of the Assemblies of God. The former Marine and handgun instructor said he expected some backlash, but has heard only a “little bit” of criticism of the gun event. …
Pagano, 50, said some members of his church were concerned that President Obama’s administration could restrict gun ownership, and they supported the plan for the event when Pagano asked their opinion.
Marian McClure Taylor, executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches, an umbrella organization for 11 Christian denominations in Kentucky, said Christian churches are promoters of peace, but “most allow for arms to be taken up under certain conditions.”
Taylor said Pagano assured her the event would focus on promoting responsible gun ownership and any proceeds would go to charity.
“Those two commitments are consistent with the high value the Assemblies of God churches place on human life,” she said in an e-mail message.
Pagano is encouraging church members to bring a canned good and a friend to the event. He said guns must be unloaded for insurance purposes and safety reasons.
He said the point was not to mix worship with guns, though he may reference some passages from the Bible.
“Firearms can be evil and they can be useful,” he said. “We’re just trying to promote responsible gun ownership and gun safety.”
In reference to Tennessee’s recent passage of their Firearms Freedom Act, Fox News provided the following coverage:
And as you may have noticed on Fox News’ CG graphic at the bottom of the screen, user “Bob‘s” comment has been confirmed:
The Tennessee House overrode the governor’s veto on June 3 and the Senate overrode the veto today, June 4th. The Restaurant Carry Bill becomes law on July 14th. Senator Jackson really raked the governor over the coals for bringing in police chiefs and sheriffs for a news conference when he vetoed the bill and chastised the news media for presenting the bill as “allowing guns in bars”. The bill allows handgun permit holders to carry into restaurants that serve alcohol but the HCP holder is prohibited from consuming while carrying. Restaurants can prohibit carry by posting appropriate signs.
A current listing of State-based initiatives can be found here.
In fact, while Mississippi also looks like it’s about to be passing its own resolution, there are far-reaching implications, for even States such as Tennessee are looking at passing bills having to do with the Second Amendment, and with court cases like Nordyke v. Kingproviding fodder for federal challenges to the companion Bill of Rights issue of weapons rights, it’s unlikely that the States’ rights movement is going to slow any time soon.
This is precisely what State legislators like South Dakota State Rep. M. J. “Manny” Steele proposes in his invitation (PDF with signatures) for other State officials to join the cause (as always, major hat-tip to TenthAmendmentCenter.com):
Greetings from South Dakota. I am proud to announce that South Dakota was the first state to accomplish bicameral passage of its resolution, HCR1013, to affirm our state’s rights.
Joining me today to announce the successful passage this year of their respective states’ rights resolutions are the primary sponsors and leaders from the following states:
Alaska (HJR27) Passed House and Senate
Mike Kelly, Dist. 7, Sponsor
Gary Stevens, Senate President
Idaho (HJM004) Passed House and Senate
Lenore Barrett, Dist. 35, Sponsor
Dick Harwood, Dist. 2, Sponsor
Lawerence Denney, House Speaker
Missouri (HCR13) Passed House
Jim Guest, Dist. 5, Sponsor
North Dakota (HCR3063) Passed House and Senate
Craig Headland, Dist. 29, Sponsor
David Monson, House Speaker
Oklahoma (HJR1003) Passed House and Senate
Randy Brogdon, Dist. 34, Sponsor
South Carolina (H3509) Passed House; Currently in Senate Committee
Michael A. Pitts, Dist. 14, Sponsor
South Dakota (HCR1013) Passed House and Senate
Manny Steele, Dist. 12, Sponsor
Dennis Daugaard, Lt. Governor
Tim Rave, House Speaker
We have heard great news from Texas that its HCR50 passed committee April 23, 2009. Sponsoring Representative Brandon Creighton expects the House to pass the resolution very shortly. In addition, Arizona’s HCR2024 passed committee on April 14, and per Sponsoring Representative Judy Burges, it is expected to pass the House.
The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution expressly reserves all powers to the states which are not delegated to the federal government. Over the course of decades, there have been increasing federal mandates and acts designed to effectively step in and legislate the affairs of our various states from Washington D.C.
Federal usurpation into state affairs severely limits the ability of state governments to operate according to their citizens’ wishes. We believe that the best government is one which governs closer to the people.
As of this announcement, legislatures in nine states’ have acted on bi-partisan support and have passed their respective resolutions to affirm states’ rights. These are: Alaska (HJR27), Georgia (SR632), Idaho (HJM4), Indiana (SR42), Missouri (HCR13), North Dakota (HCR3063), Oklahoma (HJR1003), South Carolina (H3509) and South Dakota (HCR1013).
It appears that there are 25 more states which presently have similar resolutions pending.
The current price of erosion of states’ rights exceeds $11 trillion. Without the countless attempts in Washington to duplicate and micromanage our states’ affairs, much of this debt could have been avoided.
It is our sincere desire that each of you sees this popular issue as a means to more effectively carry out your duties to the citizens you work so hard to represent. We call on you to join us so that, together, we can make a difference.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or to discuss how our states can work together to bring back government closer to the people.
I tend to agree with TheNewConservative blog as far as what we, the People should demand from our leaders:
As new potential candidates come forward – ask them how they would vote on a state sovereignty bill… and then continue to press the issue of state’s rights and limited government… Let’s vet the 2010 candidates fully and ensure that the next generation of GOP candidates breathes the necessary life into the party.
I wanted to take a moment to once again publicly thank Michael Boldin at TenthAmendmentCenter.com for the great work he’s been putting forth in helping all of us keep up to date on State-based initiatives occurring across America.
While I have been focusing predominantly on the 1st, 2nd, and 10th Amendment initiatives at the State level, another issue that is near and dear to my family’s heart is health care, especially in light of the federal debate on exactly whether or not and how we should “nationalize” our healthcare system. And while I am categorically against any form of socialized medicine (meaning that I believe it should be up to the individual to make their own health decisions, be they good or bad), as the first referenced link will show, it’s important to remember that the debate can occur not only between the federal government and individuals, but also between the States and the federal government.
In other words, the question of whether or not the federal government should even be considering such a dramatically broad encroachment upon individual lives is just as important as the question of what kind of coverage we think that everyone should have. After all, while the image associated with this posting is an excellent caricature of the issue at hand, you should ask yourself — would you be comfortable with the federal government making your health care decisions for you? (Can you say, “Dr. Obama?”)
Right on the heels of a successful state-by-state nullification of the 2005 Real ID act, the State of Arizona is out in the forefront of a growing resistance to proposed federal health care legislation.
This past Monday, the Arizona State Senate voted 18-11 to concur with the House and approve the Health Care Freedom Act (HCR2014). This will put a proposal on the 2010 ballot which would constitutionally override any law, rule or regulation that requires individuals or employers to participate in any particular health care system.
HCR2014, if approved by voters next year, also would prohibit any fine or penalty on anyone or any company for deciding to purchase health care directly. Doctors and health care providers would remain free to accept those funds and provide those services.
Finally, it would overrule anything that prohibits the sale of private health insurance in Arizona.
Five other states — Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming — are considering similar initiatives for their 2010 ballots. …
Real ID as the Blueprint?
While some constitutional experts are skeptical of the effect that such legislation could have, supporters can point to the successful campaign to oppose the Real ID Act.
In early 2007, Maine and then Utah passed resolutions refusing to implement the federal Real ID act on grounds that the law was unconstitutional. Well-over a dozen more states followed suit in passing legislation opposing Real ID.
Instead of attempting to force the law to implementation, the federal government delayed implementation not once, but twice, and additional states got on board with legally-binding legislation refusing Real ID implementation.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration, recognizing the insurmountable task of enforcing a law in the face of such broad resistance, announced that it was looking to “repeal and replace” the controversial law.
When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective’, within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as the state is concerned.
Nullification has a long and interesting history in American politics, and originates in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. These resolutions, secretly authored by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, asserted that states, as sovereign entities, could judge for themselves whether the federal government had overstepped its constitutional bounds, to the point of ignoring federal laws.
Virginia and Kentucky passed the resolutions in response to the federal Alien and Sedition Acts, which provided, in part, for the prosecution of anyone who criticized Congress or the President of the United States.
Historian Thomas E. Woods looks at nullification as a constitutional “check,” and a way to prevent one government from having the power to rule on the limits of its own authority:
“The main point that nullification aims to address is that a government allowed to determine the scope of its own powers cannot remain limited for long. This is a lesson we should have learned by now. Moreover, since piecemeal solutions to reducing federal power have accomplished nothing, we can hardly afford to dismiss out of hand the idea of nullification, a remedy that is at once creative and intelligent, and recommended by some of the greatest political thinkers in American history.”
Resistance Left, Right and Center?
Groups across the political spectrum have focused their efforts on this same principle – calling on state governments to not just say no to the federal government, but to actively resist federal laws and actions.
Firearms Freedom Acts have passed in both Montana and Tennessee, and under the force of law, call on those governments to refuse federal regulation of firearms made and kept in those respective states.
Bring the Guard Home is a campaign of mostly antiwar activists that are calling on governors to assert constitutional authority over their state’s guard – and refuse to deploy troops for any reason other than authorized by the constitution
Medical Marijuana Laws - have passed in multiple states around the country and are directly opposed to federal drug laws that see marijuana as illegal under all circumstances.
Real ID legislation has passed in approximately 2 dozen states requiring state governments to refuse implementation of the 2005 law.
Health Care Freedom Acts are being actively pursued in six states (including Arizona), and would resist proposed national health care legislation on a number of levels.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has also introduced legislation at the federal level, such as the Protect Patients’ and Physicians’ Privacy Act, HR 2630:
which allows patients and physicians to opt out of any federally mandated, created, or funded electronic medical records system. The bill also repeals sections of federal law establishing a “unique health identifier” and requires patient consent before any electronic medical records can be released to a 3rd party.
…as well as Coercion is Not Health Care Act, HR 2629:
This legislation forbids the federal government from forcing any American to purchase health insurance, or conditioning participation in any federal program on the purchase of health insurance.
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen signed his State’s 10th Amendment resolution:
This week, Tennesse Governor Phil Bredesen signed House Joint Resolution 108 (HJR0108), authored by State Rep. Susan Lynn. The resolution “Urges Congress to recognize Tennessee’s sovereignty under the tenth amendment to the Constitution.”
The House passed the resolution on 05/26 by a vote of 85-2 and the Senate passed it on 06/12 by a vote of 31-0.
Six other states have had both houses of their legislature pass similar resolutions – Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Louisiana – but Tennessee is the first to have such a resolution signed by the Governor.
A GROWING MOVEMENT
Passage of this resolution appears to be part of what is now a growing state-level resistance to the federal government on various levels. Similar 10th Amendment resolutions have been introduced in 36 states around the country, and various states are considering single-issue legislation in direct contravention to federal laws.
Since 2007, more than two dozen states have passed legislation refusing to implement the Real ID act of 2005. In response, the federal government has recently announced that they want to “repeal and replace” the law due to a rebellion by states.
Pending legislation in states around the country also includes preventing state law enforcement officials from enforcing federal laws, refusing federal gun regulations, refusing to send a state’s national guard to any duty other than what the constitution authorizes, legalizing marijuana for various purposes and more.
A FIRST STEP
While HJR0108 is strongly-word in support of the principles of limited, constitutional government that the 10th Amendment represents, it is a Joint Resolution and does not carry with it the force of law. But supporters say that this is an important first step to get their message out not only to grassroots supporters, but to the media, and legislators in other states as well.
In additional to calling on the federal government to abide by the constitution, it also states that “a committee of conference and correspondence be appointed by the Speaker of the House and of the Senate, which shall have as its charge to communicate the preceding resolution to the legislatures of the several states, to assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship and to call for a joint working group between the states to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government and to seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates.”
The final verbiage of the resolution can be found at the referenced link.
the Louisiana State House voted to approve Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 (SCR2) which “Memorializes Congress to affirm Louisiana’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and to demand that the federal government halt its practices of assuming powers and imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Louisiana joins Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Idaho and Tennessee as states where similar resolutions affirming sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution have been approved by both legislative houses.
A current listing of State-based initiatives can be found here.
And now Tennessee has entered into the fray with their Firearms Freedom Act, overwhelmingly passed by both State Houses (via TenthAmendmentCenter.com):
…the Tennessee State Senate approved Senate Bill 1610 (SB1610), the Tennesse Firearms Freedom Act, by a vote of 22-7. The House companion bill, HB1796 previously passed the House by a vote of 87-1.
On its way to the Governor’s desk, the bill states that “federal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in Tennessee and remains in Tennessee. The limitation on federal law and regulation stated in this bill applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured using basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported into this state.”
The bill also states that “firearms accessories imported into Tennessee that are subject to federal regulation do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce simply because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in Tennessee.”
“Be it the federal government mandating changes in order for states to receive federal funds or the federal government telling us how to regulate commerce contained completely within this state – enough is enough,” urged Judiciary Chairman Mae Beavers. “Our founders fought too hard to ensure states’ sovereignty and I am sick and tired of activist federal officials and judges sticking their noses where they don’t belong.”
Governor Phil Bredesen must now sign the bill. He claims to be a strong Second Amendment advocate, though he just vetoed a bill that would have allowed firearms in restaurants and bars.
The full text of the bill can be found at the referenced link.
Under the radar in most spheres until now, Wisconsin Assembly Bill 203 (introduced in April, 2009) seeks to restore a Constitutional balance to the common practice of federalizing the national guard. …
The Guard considers its charter to be the Constitution of the United States, and specifically mentions Article I, Section 8, Clause 15:
Clause 15 provides that the Congress has three constitutional grounds for calling up the militia — “to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection and repel invasions.” All three standards appear to be applicable only to the Territory of the United States. …
The actual bill:
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
AB203, s. 1
Section 1. 321.02 (3) of the statutes is created to read:
321.02 (3) The governor shall examine every federal order that places the national guard on federal active duty after the effective date of this subsection …. [LRB inserts date], to determine whether the order is lawful and valid. If the governor determines that the order is not lawful or valid, he or she shall take appropriate action to prevent the national guard from being placed on federal active duty. Appropriate action may include commencing a legal action in state or federal court to prevent the national guard from being placed on federal active duty.
The governor shall submit a report to the standing committees of the legislature with specified subject matter jurisdiction over military affairs, as provided under s. 13.172 (3), that summarizes his or her review of every order that places the national guard on federal active duty and any action he or she takes in response to that review, within 30 days after his or her review is complete.
For those who may be wondering, “What’s the big deal about the American Constitution having a Second Amendment?” I now draw your attention to the AmericanThinker blog’s posting on June 4 being the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China:
It was 20 years ago today that China savagely repressed the democracy protests in Tienanmen Square. Today, China remains a dictatorship, and continues to have high levels of civil unrest (almost completely ignored in the foreign press). Of course, the country is now far richer, and holds our debt.
Lest we forget, view the CBC’s coverage of the events 20 years ago:
A Chinese victim offers his view. Exiled university professor Chen Xiaoping, formerly at China University of Political Science and Law and now a researcher in Chinese Law at Wisconsin University Law School reminisces, also in Forbes , about the events that cost him two years in a Chinese jail, convicted for being one of the plotters of the student demonstrations.
Like students and young people everywhere he feels
The students emphasized their purity. They did not want to be involved in the power struggle. They were naïve. They wanted to preserve the purity of the students’ movement.
But in evil “Amerika” unless they harm property or individuals, students aren’t punished, imprisoned or exiled; even if they are convicted they emerge as heroes (hey there Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn); Chen is still far away from home, certainly not a hero in his native country. And what did he learn?
1989 was a lesson to the Party and it was a lesson to me: don’t be optimistic about the hope that the Chinese Communist Party will reform.
Paul Shlichta adds:
We should never forget the brief appearance of a lone hero, whom we know only as “Tank Man”, who for a few dazzling moments stopped a line of advancing tanks.He fully deserves all the praise given him on Fox News and on a page of Facebook. As one contributor put it, “there was that shining moment, where this man faced down a column of tanks … and showed us all what a spark of freedom can ignite in a soul”.
But, for twenty years, we have forgotten another, equally brave, hero (or perhaps heroes), obvious but invisible.
Look at the photo [pictured on this post]. Tank Man, alone and defenseless, is confronting a tank—a tank that stopped for five or ten seconds, until he decided to get out of the way. Based on their performance elsewhere that day, I am confident that the proper procedure in the army of the People’s Republic of China would have been to unhesitatingly run over him. I suspect that, if they had done so, the tank crew would have been commended.
But they stopped. Whoever was in that tank stopped and waited, or perhaps argued with Tank Man, until he got out of the way. Despite all that Maoist training, some spark of humanity remained in those men or was at least rekindled by Tank Man’s reckless bravery. Heroism is, thank God, like a disease that is sometimes contagious.
I suspect that the men in that tank got into some trouble because of their humanity and hesitance. I hope all went well with them.
So, again, what is my point in drawing a parallel between the Tiananmen Square event and America’s Second Amendment?
Didn’t you notice something conspicuously missing from the rank-and-file Chinese citizens in the above video and picture?
Let’s ask the question in a different way:
What could the Chinese people have used as a final bulwark and fighting chance against their tyrannically oppressive government in such a situation as the above that the American Constitution would afford them?
Yes, I think you’re getting it now: firearms! The right to keep them and bear them when one’s life is in danger, even if that danger is coming from the government.
What do you think would have happened if the Chinese government knew that any of their citizens were bearing arms and those same citizens were free to associate?
A current listing of State-based initiatives can be found here.
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. (United States Constitution, Second Amendment)
Have you ever wanted to better understand what it means to be a well-armed citizenry? What happened in the great State of Tennessee on August 2, 1946 gives great context to what, in my opinion, the founding fathers meant by a militia “being necessary to the security of a free State.”
Constitution.org provides two great links that help provide the background and timeline for this event:
After being nearly derailed on a technicality earlier this month, Texas House Concurrent Resolution 50 (HCR50) was brought back for a vote today, and passed by a wide margin.
The resolution affirms that “the State of Texas claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates, and providing that certain federal legislation be prohibited or repealed.”
…the Tennessee State Senate unanimously voted to pass, as amended, House Joint Resolution 108 (HJR0108). The resolution “Urges Congress to recognize Tennessee’s sovereignty under the tenth amendment to the Constitution.”
Tennessee joins Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho and Oklahoma – as the sixth state to have both their House and Senate pass a resolution in support of the 10th Amendment.
The final vote was 31-0. (h/t Steve Rowland)
Not to be left out, Arizona’s State House had majority support for their resolution, which now goes to the Senate…
…by a vote of 34-24, the Arizona State House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution 2024 (HCR2024). HCR 2024 stipulates that “the State of Arizona is hereby expressing the intent to claim sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. ” It will now be transmitted to the Arizona Senate.
While the resolution is non-binding on the Arizona government it takes a strong stand in support of the 10th Amendment and “serves as both a notice and a demand to the federal government to immediately cease and desist mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.”
Gov. Phil Bredesen signed the guns-in-parks bill Friday, after a deal to exempt local parks broke down.
In a brief letter to House Speaker Kent Williams, Bredesen encouraged local governments to take advantage of a provision that lets them keep guns out of specific parks.
Separately, the governor told Williams that he intends to let the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act to become law without his signature. That act says that the federal government has no right to regulate guns that are made in Tennessee and never cross state lines.
“This bill is not about firearms,” Bredesen wrote. “It represents a fringe constitutional theory that I believe will be quickly dispensed with by the federal courts.”
Hey, all you hayseed Tennessee 2nd Amendment advocates out there! Your Governor think’s you’re subscribing to a “fringe constitutional theory!” When are you going to wake up and realize that the Constitution doesn’t really mean what it says!
Dag nabit! That darn Constitution keeps getting in the way of progress in this country. If only we, the People would simply sit down, shut up, pay our taxes, and forget about things and just let those who are in authority over us rule us.
On the other hand, Ballot-Access.org posted an entry about how a Massachusetts State Representative has introduced a State constitutional amendment to bring about legislative term limits:
On June 5, Massachusetts Representative Karyn Polito (R-Shrewsbury) introduced a proposed constitutional amendment to provide for legislative term limits. See thisstory. Although Massachusetts has the initiative for changing state laws, proponents of term limits can’t use the initiative, because term limits must be a constitutional amendment and the Massachusetts initiative procedure doesn’t apply to constitutional amendments. Polito’s bill doesn’t have a bill number yet.
The Oklahoma State Senate has passed Charles Key’s House Concurrent Resolution 1028 (HCR1028) today.
Introduced on April 29, 2009, HCR1028 is “A Concurrent Resolution claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over certain powers; serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates; providing that certain federal legislation be prohibited or repealed; and directing distribution.”
The resolution, which passed the House 73-22 on May 4th, does not require a signature from the Governor.
Congratulations, you Okies. Now it’s time for more States to follow suit.
On May 11, 2009, the Louisiana State Senate voted unanimously in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 (SCR2), which “Memorializes Congress to affirm Louisiana’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and to demand that the federal government halt its practices of assuming powers and imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States of America.”
The resolution, introduced by Senator Crowe, passed 32-0, and was received by the Louisiana House on 05-12-09.
From a concerned citizen involved with tea parties, Ohio is showing movement on the Tenth Amendment front…
There is positive movement on Ohio’s State Sovereignty legislation!
Today a concurrent resolution was introduced in the Ohio State Senate.
S.C.R. 13 was put forth as the senate’s version of the state
sovereignty resolution. Among its cosponsors is our very own Steve
Buehrer, who along with five other senators signed on in support of
the resolution introduced by Senators Grendell and Faber. Make sure
you take a moment to thank Mr. Buehrer for his work in support of our
state’s sovereignty. Here is his contact information:
Room #134, First Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Email: [email protected]
Also, the House version of the resolution, H.C.R. 11, is scheduled for
a hearing before the State Government Committee next Wednesday, May 13
at 2:30pm. There is currently no public testimony allowed, but that
may change before the hearing. Either way, if you have not already
done so please contact the members of this committee urging them to
support the measure. The Ohio Freedom Alliance provides a service
that allows you to email the Speaker of the House and the committee
members quickly and efficiently. You can do so here: http://www.ohiofreedom.com/SLAM/issue.php?issueid=2
Introduced in the South Carolina State Senate on May 6, 2009, the “Firearms Freedom Act” (s-794) seeks “to provide that a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured and retained in South Carolina is exempt from federal regulation under the commerce clause of the Constitution of the United States.”
The bill is sponsored by South Carolina State Senators Bright, Bryant, Mulvaney, Davis, Shoopman, S. Martin and McConnell. They join Montana, Utah, and Texas in an effort to limit federal regulation of guns, and specifically invoke the 9th and 10th Amendments as restrictions on federal power:
“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. Congress has not expressly preempted state regulation of intrastate commerce pertaining to the manufacture on an intrastate basis of firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition”
The right to bear arms is famously and specifically referenced in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Alas, for advocates of the right, the language of the amendment gets tangled up in the regulating of militias and the interpretation of commas. Now a multistate movement is trying to find more robust constitutional support in another amendment, which makes no mention of weaponry at all.
The 10th Amendment declares, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” It inspired the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion that swept the West three decades ago, preventing the federal takeover of public lands pushed by the Carter Administration and propelling the self-proclaimed Sagebrush Rebel, Ronald Reagan, to the presidency. Now the Amendment is being invoked by pro-gun advocates to press for state, rather than federal, regulation of gun manufacturers. (See pictures of America’s gun culture.)
“It is part of the populist state-sovereignty movement, the sense there is so much power in Washington,” says Stephen P. Halbrook, a Virginia attorney who has argued several important Second Amendment cases before the Supreme Court, including, most recently, a successful case overturning the Washington, D.C., gun ban. Halbrook says the Montana initiative had been simmering long before President Obama’s election, which led to reports of a run on gun and ammunition across the country because of fear of new federal curtailment or taxation of gun ownership. “It is a grass-roots thing,” Halbrook says, “not an NRA [National Rifle Association] initiative.” The NRA, however, has expressed its support for the measure.
A current listing of State-based initiatives can be found here.