Kentucky Joins Movement to Resist Abuses of Commerce Clause, 2nd Amendment

In states around the country, there’s a growing movement to address and resist two of the most abused parts of the Constitution – the Commerce Clause and the 2nd Amendment. Already being considered in a number of state legislatures, and passed as law in Montana and Tennessee this year, the Firearms Freedom Act (FFA) is a state law that seeks to do just that.

The latest to join the FFA movement? Kentucky. Pre-filed for the 2010 legislative session, HB87 seeks to “Create new sections of KRS Chapter 237, relating to firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition that are made in Kentucky, marked made in Kentucky, and used in Kentucky, to specify that these items are exempt from federal law”

While the FFA’s title focuses on federal gun regulations, it has far more to do with the 10th Amendment’s limit on the power of the federal government. The bills in state houses contain language such as the following:

“federal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in [this state] and remains in [state]. 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.”

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NULLIFICATION

Some supporters of the legislation say that a successful application of such a state-law would set a strong precedent and open the door for states to take their own positions on a wide range of activities that they see as not being authorized to the Federal Government by the Constitution.

The principle behind such legislation is nullification, which has a long history in the American tradition. 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.

All across the country, activists and state-legislators are pressing for similar legislation, to nullify specific federal laws within their states.

A proposed Constitutional Amendment to effectively ban national health care will go to a vote in Arizona in 2010. Fourteen states now have some form of medical marijuana laws – in direct contravention to federal laws which state that the plant is illegal in all circumstances. And, massive state nullification of the 2005 Real ID Act has rendered the law nearly void.

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November 13, 2009