Sunset News: ATF vs. the States

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

ATF vs. the States

Second Amendment: ATF vs. the States
Montana and The Patriot's home state of Tennessee each passed laws this year declaring that firearms made, sold and kept in their respective states are exempt from federal regulations. The Tennessee law reads, "[F]ederal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in Tennessee and remains in Tennessee. The limitation on federal law and regulation stated in this bill applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured using basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported into this state."

The feds won't give up their power easily, however, and we aren't surprised by the open letter to all Tennessee and Montana federal firearms licensees (FFLs) sent by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The letter asserts that the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act "purports to exempt personal firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition manufactured in the state, and which remain in the state, from most federal firearms laws and regulations. However, because the Act conflicts with Federal firearms laws and regulations, Federal law supersedes the Act, and all provisions of the Gun Control Act and the National Firearms Act, and their corresponding regulations, continue to apply."

Constitutional historian Kevin R.C. Gutzman summed it up: "[F]ederal officials don't care about a good historical argument concerning the meaning of the Constitution. Their view is that the states exist for the administrative convenience of the federal government, and so of course any conflict between state and federal policy must be resolved in favor of the latter. This is another way of saying that the 10th Amendment is not binding on the federal government." Americans who value liberty will have to do more than hope for change.

1 comment:

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