- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Obama’s gun control push moves states to fight it
Question of the Day
Even as some governors and mayors eye tighter restrictions on firearms in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings, state legislators across the country are launching pre-emptive strikes against federal gun control proposals that may never even make it through Congress.
More than half of the states have seen lawmakers push measures to make any new federal gun restrictions illegal within the states or exempt firearms made and sold within the states from federal regulation.
The push, supporters say, is a direct response to President Obama’s proposed controls, which include bans on military-style semi-automatic firearms, high-capacity ammunition magazines, universal background checks for gun purchasers, and 23 executive actions, many of which are directives to federal agencies.
Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said he took his cue from a proposal in Wyoming called the Firearm Protection Act that would invalidate any federal restrictions on firearms or gun magazines.
“When I saw what was happening with [Mr.] Obama and [Vice President Joseph R.] Biden, we thought it would be a good idea to do something similar in Pennsylvania” to what Wyoming has done, Mr. Metcalfe said. “We wanted to send a strong, clear message, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Mr. Metcalfe’s legislation would prohibit enforcement of any new federal restrictions on guns or ammunition and require the state to intercede against any federal attempt to register, restrict or ban guns that are currently legal.
Farther west, Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm has received national — and international — attention for a speech last month at a Second Amendment rally that has been viewed more than 51,000 times on YouTube. Mr. Dahm introduced several bills on the Second Amendment, including one that would declare any federal acts or orders on guns to be invalid in the state.
Mr. Dahm, however, said he wasn’t expecting the attention. He also made sure to point out that bills were introduced before the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., nearly two months ago, and his 2nd Amendment Preservation Act was introduced before Mr. Obama rolled out his proposals.
“This is not a call to arms — it’s a call to action,” he said. “I’ve gotten comments from as far away as Russia, Puerto Rico. If we didn’t have those weapons, we’d still be speaking English with an accent. We’d still be drinking tea and paying huge taxes for it.”
Some states, like New York, have gone the opposite route and jumped out in front of anything Mr. Obama or Congress may do. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law the country’s strictest gun regulations, including bans on military-style, semiautomatic firearms and ammunition magazines that hold more than seven bullets — even more stringent than Mr. Obama’s threshold of 10.
But Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma are certainly not alone in pushing back against federal proposals — state legislators in at least 26 states have proposed similar legislation.
Virginia state Delegate Robert G. Marshall’s bill included a slight twist. State police would not be allowed to assist in any prosecution or investigations of federal gun laws in the state.
The bill was not expected to have a direct fiscal impact on the state, but according to state police, if federal grant funding was removed in response to gun-related initiatives, the state could risk losing nearly $800,000.
Mr. Marshall, Prince William Republican, was incensed that the bill was effectively killed for the year, saying the fiscal impact statement was brought to him at the last minute and the state shouldn’t be concerned with what the federal government may or may not give them anyway.
“So what if we lost that?” he said. “If the federal government is so stupid to coerce us into accepting this 30 pieces of silver, I’d say reject the money.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Wilder, Cuccinelli may be called as witnesses in McDonnell trial
- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's trial to test definitions of political corruption
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Mich. congressman returns Commerce award after group endorses opponent
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: 'Playing defense on the one-yard line'
Latest Blog Entries
- Dick Cheney: Hillary Clinton 'clearly bears responsibility' on Benghazi
- Holder vows to press ahead on gun control fight
- Seven of 10 prefer that Obama work with Congress, not go around it: Poll
- Schumer: Tea party hasn't let Obama put his policies into effect
- GOP official: Black not running for Wolf's House seat
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq