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Anti-Gun Control Laws: How Heartland States Have Protected 2nd Amendment

Anti-Gun Control Laws: How Heartland States Have Protected 2nd Amendment
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Thursday, 20 November 2014 11:57 AM EST

While gun control activists push for stricter federal regulations regarding ownership, some states are not-so-quietly working toward looser restrictions, especially in many of the country's Heartland states.

Those states are essentially nullifying federal gun laws with their own legislation. The term "nullification," in this context, is defined as "the failure or refusal of a U.S. state to aid in enforcement of federal laws within its limits, especially on Constitutional grounds."

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In April 2013, Kansas passed a law declaring that federal gun stipulations don't apply to state-manufactured guns, and residents could make and sell semi-automatic weapons in Kansas without a federal license or any federal oversight.

The Second Amendment Protection Act supported the state's rights claim, since it became a felony for a federal agent to enforce the law when dealing with a Kansas-made gun. Similar bills have been introduced in at least 37 other states.

In Missouri, a far-reaching bill intended to nullify all federal gun laws passed in both houses in May, but ultimately failed during the final stages of the process. Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a similar bill last year that could add possible prosecution for federal agents who tried to enforce federal gun control laws.

Undeterred, Missouri lawmakers in September expanded gun rights over Nixon's objections when they voted to allow trained school employees to carry concealed guns on the premises and let residents with a concealed weapons permit to openly carry guns — even in public areas with open-carry bans. The age to obtain a concealed weapons permit was also lowered to 19 from 21.

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"We have a culture where, unfortunately, for whatever reason, people are killing people with guns," said Sen. Jolie Justus, who opposed the law, according to CBS St. Louis. "It just sends a message that my city doesn't want."

Nullification bills reflect a growing belief in some states that Congress has gone beyond its reach to regulate guns, and that state governments have the ultimate authority to rule on a law's constitutionality, not the Supreme Court. Others, like UCLA law Professor Adam Winkler, said state nullification laws violate the Constitution. It's "the ultimate triumph of symbolism over substance," he told The Wichita Eagle.

Still, the increasing amount of similar bills illuminate the battle for gun control proponents, who want to bring the fight to state level.

Montana, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming are among other states who have introduced laws that invalidate any new federal ban of certain weapons or ammunition. Most of the states have been buoyed by the Tenth Amendment Center, the conservative group that created the template for the Second Amendment Preservation Act.

URGENT: Do You Support President Obama’s Plans for Stricter Gun Control? Vote Now

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FastFeatures
While gun control activists push for stricter federal regulations regarding ownership, some states are not-so-quietly working toward looser restrictions, especially in many of the country's Heartland states.
anti, gun control, laws, heartland
467
2014-57-20
Thursday, 20 November 2014 11:57 AM
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