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by Peter Moskos

September 24, 2009

A gun bill and state sovereignty: A two-fer

At least for conservative in the Tennessee legislature. For me it's just a one-fer. I like states' rights. And though I don't like guns, I think the gun folks here are absolutely right.

Perhaps those who support medicinal marijuana and other states' rights issues should appreciate the parallels.
"An effort by the federal government to regulate intrastate commerce under the guise of powers implied by the interstate commerce clause could only result in encroachment of the state's power to regulate commerce within its borders."
Richard Locker writes in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
"This bill simply asserts that if a firearms and/or ammunition is made totally within the state of Tennessee, then the federal government has no jurisdiction over that item in any fashion, so long as it remains in the state and outside of interstate commerce," Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, the bill's sponsor, said on the Senate floor when it passed there in June.
[The ATF says no:] "It's analogous to a speed limit. If the speed limit on the interstate is set at 70, a city along the interstate can't come along and say there is no speed limit on the interstate through our city. The highway patrol could still enforce the speed limit," he said.
Er, that's a horrible and unfortunate analogy, since it actually makes the opposite point. The feds don't make speed limits. States do. That's the 10th Amendment. Plus there's the 2nd Amendment, which says nothing about driving speed.

Realistically, though, the interstate commerce law is viewed so broadly that it covers everything. At least in the war on drugs.


DJK said...

Here here! or is it...hear here? or...hear hear? I've always wondered.

DJK said...

Montana has already ratified this there.

PCM said...

It's "hear hear." Something about being from "hear ye, hear ye!"