Resist DC: NH Legislators Look to Nullify Federal Gun Laws

     

NH Legislators again raise the bar for the 10th Amendment Movement – felony charges proposed for federal agents violating gun rights in New Hampshire

Pre-filed for the 2010 legislative session in New Hampshire, House Bill 1285 (HB1285) seeks to “exempt firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition manufactured in New Hampshire from federal law and regulation.”

Introduced by State Rep. Dan Itse, the bill currently has 5 other co-sponsors, including 10-4 pledge signer, Carol Vita. (h/t NHLiberty.org)

While the bill’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. It states, in part:

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution for the United States guarantees to the states and their people all powers not granted to the federal government elsewhere in the constitution and reserves to the State and people of New Hampshire certain powers as they were understood at the time that New Hampshire ratified the Bill of Rights, particularly the Tenth Amendment in 1790. The guaranty of those powers is a matter of contract between the State and people of New Hampshire and the several States comprising the United States as of the time that the compact was agreed upon and adopted by New Hampshire and the several States comprising the United States.

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The regulation of inter-state commerce was delegated by the People of the Several States to the federal government in the US Constitution. Since the regulation of intra-state commerce was not delegated to the federal government, this authority, as codified in law by the 10th Amendment, remains with the State governments or the People themselves.

HB1285 includes this principle in its text:

a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in New Hampshire and that remains within the state of New Hampshire is not subject to federal law or taxation, or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce.

The authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce in basic materials does not include authority to regulate firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition made in New Hampshire from those materials. Firearms accessories that are imported into New Hampshire from another state and that are subject to federal regulation as being in interstate commerce do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in New Hampshire.

Unlike many other states that are considering Firearms Freedom Acts (FFA), the New Hampshire legislation includes official sanctions on any state or federal official violating the law, if adopted.

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State Agents:

Any public servant of the State of New Hampshire as defined in RSA 640:2 that enforces or attempts to enforce a act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in New Hampshire and that remains within the State of New Hampshire shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Federal Agents:

Any official, agent, or employee of the government of the United States, or employee of a corporation providing services to the government of the United States that enforces or attempts to enforce a act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in New Hampshire and that remains within the State of New Hampshire shall be guilty of a class B felony. (emphasis added)

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.

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January 4, 2010