A bill introduced Wednesday in the Texas legislature to help the gun industry sidestep federal firearm regulations could generate constitutional challenges, according to the Austin American-Statesman
The bill, proposed by freshman conservative lawmaker Matt Krause, would prevent the enforcement of federal gun regulations in Texas if a firearm is manufactured, sold, and used within the state’s boundaries.
Krause, a Republican, argues that if the firearm never leaves Texas, it cannot be subject to the federal interstate commerce laws being cited as justification for nationwide gun control legislation.
According to Krause, the “explicitly intrastate transaction — does not fall under Congress’ authority to regulate commerce between the states and should be expressly protected in state law.”
But law professors Cal Jillson with Southern Methodist University and Timothy Jost of the Washington and Lee University School of Law suggested to the Statesman that Krause’s interpretation is mistaken.
“This is a symbolic bill more than a substantive bill,” Jillson explained.
Jost agreed, telling the newspaper the Supreme Court has established that the federal government’s “authority [to regulate interstate commerce] is very broad."
Legislation similar to Krause's bill has been proposed in Missouri, Montana, and Wyoming. The Montana measure is currently being challenged in court.
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