The Republican homage to Sandy Hook – anything goes state gun laws

Last updated on January 8th, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Has the Republican “Guns R Us” crowd been moved to do anything since the Sandy Hook Elementary School slaughter of 20 enfants innocents? Oh dear me yes. The gun-nut homage to those darling children is to push even harder for a piece of legislation called the Firearms Freedom Act (FFA, with apologies to the wonderful Future Farmers of America organization). The name may have a ring to it. A total of 34 states have either passed the Act, are about to vote on it or are in the process of introducing the legislation. My state of residence, South Carolina belongs to the latter group.

Lee Bright, a Republican State Senator had introduced the bill in 2011 but it somehow got lost in committee. Bright decided to pre-file the same piece of legislation December 13th, the day before a mentally unstable young man shot to death the aforementioned children, his mother, 6 other adults and himself. Any human being with the tiniest shred of decency would have at least symbolically withdrawn the bill for a period of months. Bright kept it right where it was, rarin’ to be voted into law after the latest multi-death ‘inconvenience’ blew over, and in selfish and indifferent South Carolina, that would be much sooner than later.

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Montana started the musket ball rolling with The Montana Firearms Freedom Act, first passed in October of ’09. The legislation, shortened to the Firearms Freedom Act in all other titled legislation calls for states to ignore federal gun laws in favor of state laws that allow the manufacture, privately or commercially, of guns with a few restrictions (no fully automatic weapons for instance), but no federal restraints. Feel free to whip up bullets and accessories as well, unFEDered by pesky Uncle Sam. I should add that there are no background checks, dealer licensing or registration imperatives in any of the state bills.

Bright, who appears to not have had an original thought during his career in the SC General Assembly did what Montana and every other FFA state did. He essentially followed model legislation whose origins are being kept secret as far as I could tell. But model legislation it is. Here are a few examples. The virtually identical verbiage cannot possibly be a coincidence. A single source wrote the legislation, sent it to the state legislatures and told the Republican Representatives and Senators to rubber-stamp it. Here are just a few samples; I could have provided dozens.

Oklahoma bill: Firearms Freedom Act bill: (2/7/11)

(1) The 10th amendment to the United States constitution 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 Montana certain powers as they were understood at the time that Montana was admitted to statehood in 1889. The guaranty of those powers is a matter of contract between the state and people of Montana and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Montana and the United States in 1889.

This is a match for the Montana bill: “Montana Firearms Freedom Act bill: 10/1/09

(1) The 10th amendment to the United States constitution 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 Montana certain powers as they were understood at the time that Montana was admitted to statehood in 1889. The guaranty of those powers is a matter of contract between the state and people of Montana and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Montana and the United States in 1889.

Now for the Second Amendment section of the Oklahoma Firearms Freedom Act bill: (2/7/11).

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reserves to the people the right to keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time that Oklahoma was admitted to statehood in 1907, and the guaranty of the right is a matter of contract between the state and people of Oklahoma and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Oklahoma and the United States in 1907; and…

Here the virtually identical wording of the South Carolina Firearms Freedom Act bill: (12/13/2012)

Whereas, the second amendment to the United States Constitution reserves to the people the right to keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time that South Carolina was admitted to statehood in 1788, and the guaranty of the right is a matter of contract between the state and people of South Carolina and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by South Carolina and the United States in 1788; and…

We don’t want to leave Sarah out. Here’s the Alaska Firearms Freedom Act Bill: 26th Legislature (2009-2010)

(4) The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reserves to
the people the right to keep and bear arms as that right was intended at the time that Alaska was admitted to statehood in 1959, and the guaranty of the right is a matter of contract between the state and people of Alaska and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Alaska and the United States in 1959.

You can play along by going to http://firearmsfreedomact.com/state-by-state/

Assorted court actions are inevitable and the “ef the Feds” crowd ain’t gonna be happy. There’s a little something called the ‘Commerce Clause’. Of course all the Bubba scholars out there realize that the Supreme Court has already decided that the clause allows the federal government regulatory powers over the manufacture of firearms in a given state. Translation; nullification nuttery notwithstanding, DC overrides all that FFA nonsense.

Of course all the elected attorney reps and senators were and are well aware of the Supremes reversal of U.S. v. Stewart that set the standard for federal regulation of guns sold intrastate. Bright didn’t get the memo as he continues to insist the feds can’t enforce their gun laws in an individual state. They can, Lee; they can! Follow Bright’s advice and you’re next abode will have visiting hours.

FFA is really just another ploy to capture the goober vote. And, of course, in my part of the country it works every time. I’m really getting weary of Deep South Congressional and state elections being decided at the point of a gun.

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