Alabama Senate votes to Abolish All Federal Gun Control Measures, 24-6

By on May 1, 2013
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by TAC Update

A bill to nullify all federal gun control measures passed by a wide margin in the Alabama Senate today.   The vote was 24-6 (roll call here)

Senate Bill 93 (SB93) declares that “All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, or regulations regarding firearms are a violation of the Second Amendment,”  and therefore, “are invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.”

If passed into law, the immediate effect would be that no state or local agent, employee, or asset would be authorized for us in the enforcement (or assistance in the enforcement) of any federal gun control measures – past, present, or future.

Bill Sponsor Senator Paul Sanford affirmed as much during debate on the bill.  He said, ”They’re not going to use our law enforcement officials to enforce their law that is unconstitutional.”

This would make a HUGE dent in any federal effort to further restrict the right to keep and bear arms in Alabama – and would be a big step forward for gun rights supporters there. As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here).   And in those limited situations where enforcement does occur, Rosa Parks has taught us all the power of “NO!”  Passage of SB93 would mark the beginning of the end of federal gun control in Alabama.

When challenged on the Constitution’s supremacy clause, Sanford held his ground, ”If it’s unconstitutional then the supremacy clause never comes into effect.”

The so-called “supremacy clause” of the Constitution says that federal laws made “in pursuance” of the Constitution are supreme:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.  (emphasis added)

There is absolutely ZERO serious dispute about the fact that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states to carry out its laws.  None. Even the Supreme Court has affirmed this multiple times.

In the 1992 case, New York v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.

In the 1997 case, Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not command state law enforcement authorities to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers.

In the 2012 case, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court ruled that a significant expansion of Medicaid was not a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, as it would coerce states to either accept the expansion or risk losing existing Medicaid funding.

In each of these cases, the Supreme Court made is quite clear that their opinion is that the federal government cannot require the states to act, or even coerce them to act through a threat to lose funding.  Their opinion is correct.  If the feds pass a law, they can sure try to enforce it if they want.  But the states absolutely do NOT have to help them in any way.

In case the full state and local noncompliance doesn’t work as intended, SB93 includes a mechanism to take additional steps in the future.  It reads, “The Legislature shall adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal acts, laws, orders, rules, or regulations in violation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The path such measures could take will only be determined over time – and through the representatives of the People of Alabama.

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