Nullification: Twenty-five States With Firearms Freedom Acts
Tired of a Congress that continually ignores the Constitution and its principles of limited government, coupled with non-responsive representation in that body, activists are taking their freedom fight to their state legislatures. They have found sympathetic ears and pro-active representation at a level a bit closer to home with the principle of nullification.
Exactly half of the state legislatures of these United States of America are engaged in nullifying, or have passed, nullification laws that restrict the authority of the federal government in the area of gun control. Entitled Firearms Freedom Acts and closely modeled on the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, these legislatures are trying to stop the overreach of the federal government by simply ignoring the government’s false claim to regulation under the Commerce Clause in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and declaring the state’s authority over firearms, accessories and ammunition under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. It is a sign of the times and a return to state sovereignty in opposition to the continued expansion of government.
Six states have achieved their legislative firearms freedom goals: Montana, Tennessee, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota and Oklahoma have all passed the legislation.
So far Wyoming’s FFA and New Hampshire’s FFA are the only ones with a little bite to them, as those bills contain fines and jail time for state or federal officials who attempt to enforce federal gun control laws in their states. Virginia was poised to be another state that would have its FFA passed and signed into law. Its House had already passed its FFA; however, after some dirty tricks and rule-breaking in the Virginia State Senate, it will take the courage of at least one state senator to use a rare floor procedure to get Virginia’s HB 69 back on the floor for a recorded vote. Otherwise, Virginia will be back to square one. Residents of Virginia can click here to contact your state senators in support of HB 69.
That leaves 19 states that have introduced similar legislation. Some of the newly introduced legislation is clearly stalled in state house or senate committees, often the Judiciary committee. There needs to be a caution inserted at this point: everyone understands this is an election year in a particularly turbulent and contentious political climate, so there may be those state legislators who will be pandering to the conservative or tea party movement, or simply grandstanding, by helping to introduce or sponsor FFAs because public opinion is very much in favor of less gun control.
Some politicians have gone so far as to say any type of nullification legislation at the state level is merely symbolic. Some see it as being defiant or rebellious, useful only for sending a message to those in power to sit up and take notice. And then there are those who call the measures pointless. Rep. Chris Hart, D-Columbia, in the South Carolina state legislature sees it as secessionist in nature. Commenting on his state’s call to restore the proper balance to the federal system Hart said, “We’re talking about seceding from the union. I thought we tried that.”
Of course, asserting state sovereignty is nothing of the sort. But pushing back against the federal government’s tyrannical tactics is now being labeled as secessionist. There is no one who would want a return to a bloody civil war, but liberals and leftists are prone to labeling Tenthers (those who support the movement among state legislatures to affirm the retention by the states of "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution" as stated in the Tenth Amendment) as secessionists in order to bring to mind the horrors of civil war thereby discrediting the so-called “right wing extremists,” “alarmists,” and “nut cases” who would return to a more constitutionally correct practice of government.
For your perusal we present the 19 states who have introduced, but not yet passed, FFA legislation with links to the bills at each state legislative website. If your state is on the list, click on your state's name to contact your state legislators about the measure, urging them to support it, and get it moving toward passage. Remember it’s an election year and those at the state level have both ears to the ground as they never have had before. If your state is not one of the 19, you can still contact your state reps who you may already be on a first-name basis with, and insist that they introduce similar legislation, using any of a number of state bills as a model; it’s quick and easy, and would prove they support constitutional principles at both the state and federal levels.
Here are the 19 in alphabetical order (see next paragraph) but there are unique circumstances for some of them. For instance, some have the same bill number for both house and senate, some different numbered bills. Indiana has three identical bills; Hoosiers will have to sort that one out. Same for New Hampshire with two identical bills. Click on your state's name to contact your state legislators in support of already-introduced FFA legislation.
Alabama HB48; Alaska HB 186; Arizona HB2307 passed in the House, SB1098 not yet moving in the Senate; Colorado SB 10-092; Florida HB 21 out of committee, SB 98 in committee; Idaho HB 589 passed in the House only; Indiana Senate Bill 0200, Senate Bill 0276, Senate Bill 0416; Kansas HB 2620; Kentucky HB 87 (BR348); Michigan House Bill 5232; Minnesota HF 2376 stalled, SF 2140 also stalled; Missouri HB 1230; New Hampshire HB1285; HB 1433; Ohio House Bill 315; Pennsylvania HB 1988 stalled in committee; South Carolina S. 794 stalled in committee; Texas HB 1863, the state legislature is not in session in even-numbered years; Washington HB 2709; and West Virginia SB 555.