Louisiana House Passes Firearms Freedom Act, 75-20

By on May 8, 2013
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by TAC Update

On Monday, the Louisiana State House of Representatives approved a bill that would encourage the growth of firearms manufacturing within the state by nullifying federal gun control measures on firearms made and sold within the state.

House Bill 45 (HB45) would exempt firearms manufactured and remaining in the state of Louisiana from federal law, federal taxation or federal regulation, including registration.  It passed by a vote of 75-20.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Lopinto, finds its foundation in a proper understanding of the commerce clause.

“In the absence of a constitutional prohibition, or a specific delegation of authority to the United States government, all regulation of intrastate commerce isexpressly reserved to the authority of the states.”

It continues, nullifying the unconstitutional federal expansion of the commerce power by reasserting state control over items manufactured and retained in the state:

A Louisiana manufactured firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Louisiana pursuant to the provisions of this Part and which remains within the borders of Louisiana is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the Louisiana Legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce.

The Constitution states, “The Congress shall have power… to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes…The Congress shall have Power…to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

Robert Natelson notes in The Original Constitution that there are misconceptions of the commerce clause in the Constitution, that the regulation of commerce is not exclusively enumerated to Congress and that commerce did not include everything under the sun. The states still have immense power to regulate commerce within their own state and even with foreign nations. 

Natelson writes, “Federalists repeatedly represented that the Constitution would leave the states as the sole government regulators of the vast majority of human actives. They affirmed that the central government would have almost no role over…use of personal property outside commerce, wills and inheritance, business regulation and licensing, manufacturing” and others.

Also Natelson writes, “The Constitution banned states from imposing duties on imports or exports without the consent of Congress…otherwise, states were free to regulate commerce with foreign nations–and even to impose embargoes on goods from outside–subject to preemption by Congress or by federal treaties.”

“This is a great first step, and the big margin of victory shows the level of support for this bill. People in Louisiana don’t want D.C. messing with their guns.” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “The feds think they can pretty much regulate anything under the commerce clause, and this simply isn’t true when you understand the intent of the Constitution. Intrastate commerce is the purview of the states.”

HB45 now moves on to the State Senate.  It will first be assigned to a committee where it will require approval before going to the full Senate for a debate and vote.  Louisiana residents are encouraged to contact their State Senator right now to request that they co-sponsor and support HB45.

Image Reference

John Rawlston, AP

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