Obama Administration Begins Opposition To States Claiming Sovereignty And Gun Rights

Posted: July 24, 2009 in 2nd Amendment Rights, Politics
Tags: ,

Tom Remington
Black Bear Blog
July 24, 2009

The approval of Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court
justice is vitally important, especially due to the fact
that she is anti Second Amendment and has shown
little regard for the original intent of the Constitution.

The several states are lining up to reclaim their sovereignty and telling the federal government to butt out. This is being done in myriad ways but all are related in that most claim that the Tenth Amendment protects the states from federal tyranny. States are passing resolutions, memorials and two states have passed laws and they intend to apply those laws for their citizens. The two states are Montana and Tennessee.

It was expected that at some point these laws would be challenged and it appears actions to do such has begun. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has published open letters to federal firearms license holders in  Montana and  Tennessee explaining that federal law trumps state law when it comes to gun laws.

“As you may know, federal law requires a license to engage in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition, or to deal in firearms, even if the firearms or ammunition remain with the same state. All firearms manufactured by a licensee must be properly marked. Additionally, each licensee must record the type, model, caliber or gauge, and serial number of each firearm manufactured or otherwise acquired, and the date such manufacture or other acquisition was made. Firearms transaction records and NICS background checks must be conducted prior to disposition of firearms to unlicensed persons. These, as well as other Federal requirements and prohibitions, apply whether or not the firearms or ammunition have crossed state lines.

In a report filed by CBS News, it seems to indicate that even though these states are claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment, the Federal Government may have power over such gun laws as the Firearms Freedom Act, via the Commerce Clause.

Read literally, the Tenth Amendment seems to suggest that the federal government’s powers are limited only to what it has been “delegated,” and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1918 confirmed that the amendment “carefully reserved” some authority “to the states.” That view is echoed by statements made at the time the Constitution was adopted; New Hampshire explicitly said that states kept “all powers not expressly and particularly delegated” to the federal government.

More recently, federal courts have interpreted the Tenth Amendment narrowly, in a way that justifies almost any law on grounds that it intends to regulate interstate commerce.

World Net Daily points out in an article of their own that the Montana Firearms Freedom Act bill declares that Congress has not “expressly pre-empted state regulation of intrastate commerce pertaining to the manufacture on an intrastate basis of firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition”.

I have been saying for some time that all of this will eventually wend its way through the courts ultimately landing at the feet of the United States Supreme Court. This is one reason the approval of Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court justice is vitally important, especially due to the fact that she is anti Second Amendment and has shown little regard for the original intent of the Constitution.

Also at issue in this debate are pending lawsuits challenging gun laws in other states. Chicago’s gun ban is being challenged after the District of Columbia vs. Heller decision reaffirming an individual right to keep and bear arms. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that federal gun laws do not pertain to the states, a position taken by Sotomayor.

This is an interesting ruling considering that prior to this the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause incorporates the Second Amendment and therefore federal law, which now holds the ruling of theDistrict of Columbia vs. Heller decision, applies to the states rendering them unable to create gun laws that supersede federal laws. This will end up at the Supreme Court.

While we are discussing the Fourteenth Amendment, the Second Amendment and Ninth and Tenth, the BATFE is sending out public letters, assumed to be authorized by the Obama administration, to federal firearms dealers in Montana and Tennessee, stating that federal law supersedes state laws, at least as they pertain to firearms and ammunition.

Where will this all end up? I believe the Supreme Court but I know not how long this may take. In the meantime, the Obama administration, made up of mostly anti-gun people, are grasping to gain control over your right to keep and bear arms. From the day Obama was elected, the people rushed to stores buying up guns and ammunition at unprecedented rates. With the combination of a new president and staff known to want to ban gun and gun sales and the District of Columbia vs. Heller ruling, it has helped spur more laws to relax gun restrictions. This, I am positive, angers the Obama administration.

None of this comes as a surprise to Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. Marbut was directly responsible for the Montana Firearms Freedom Act. In a letter sent to his members of MSSA, Marbut points out what he views as little concern over the letter and how it was expected.

1) The letters are addressed only to FFLs and purport to assert authority only over those licensees already under the federal thumb because of their licenses. We’ve always assumed that people with existing FFLs would not be players in the state-made guns exercise because they will not wish to risk thwarting the earned reputation the BATFE has for vindictiveness. The letters are not addressed to non-FFLs, those folks who are potential participants in the state-made guns business.

2) The BATFE letters may lack any official import because they are not signed by the official who appears in the signature block, but by some unknown other person. It’s difficult to place much credence in a missive upon which the purported issuing person is unwilling to put his signature, and for which the signer is unknown.

3) The essence of the letter is a declaration that the laws that the BATFE enforces supercede the U.S. Constitution and the Tenth

Amendment. I understand that the BATFE hopes that is so, but that’s far from proven yet. (We still recommend that nobody make these state-made guns until we can litigate and vet the principles involved.)

4) The letters, if they are official even though unsigned by the issuer, will help us establish standing to get this issue squarely before the federal courts. The feds have thrown down the gauntlet.

I like Montana’s approach to their action in the creation of their Firearms Freedom Act. They are proactively seeking to bring this issue to the courts for a ruling. They believe in their own state’s constitution and that they, according to their contract with the people and the United States Government, have the sovereignty and freedom under the U.S. Constitution, to make their own laws in matters such as this.

This will be a long and drawn out affair but one that is ripe for a good battle. Let’s hope this battle arrives before Obama can stack the Supreme Court with more anti-gun “empathetic” justices.

  1. Godless American says:

    There is nothing that shows that Sotomayor is against the 2nd Amendment; your claim is completely unfounded.

    The 10th Amendment specifically gives rights to the states when the federal government hasn’t passed legislature covering the same thing. There is no support for secession, specifically, in the 10th Amendment. All the federal government would have to do is pass legislature that prohibits any state from leaving the union. Of course, Lincoln provided precedence for that action but I’m not aware of any legislature being passed to support it.

    • heather be thy name says:

      So you have not read her essay yet then? “Deadly Obsession: American Gun Culture.”? In the text, Sotomayor makes the argument that the Second Amendment does not actually afford individual citizens the right to bear arms. She believes only the military has this right. According to Sotomayor, it has been illegal for individuals to own firearms since the passing of the Bill of Rights.

      She clearly states she is. Also in United States v. Sanchez-Villar, she stated that “the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right.” Sotomayor has held very anti-gun views, even as far back as the 1970s.

      So I am sorry my friend. You are mistaken. There are many many more examples. Too many examples to list. I wish it were not true.

      • Godless American says:

        Thanks, could you give me a link to that article? I’ve found many references to it on many conservative blogs, but not any links to the article. Have you read it yourself, or have you simply heard of it and drawn conclusions based on the title?

  2. Godless American says:

    No link? Please, tell me you’ve at least read Sotomayor’s thesis; the one that you’re using to defend your position that she is against the 2nd Amendment.

  3. Godless American says:

    Heather, you might want to rethink the notion of “fundamental rights”. If it’s fundamental, then everyone should have that right regardless of anything else. Like criminals receiving healthcare, because it’s a fundamental right. Would you say that violent criminals have the right to own guns? What about rapists and pedophiles? No, then you agree that the 2nd Amendment isn’t a fundamental right.

  4. heather be thy name says:

    Relax, busy mom here working 2 jobs and school. Im searching for the site that had whole portions of her thesis from Princeton that I was able to read a while back. I never bookmarked it due to the fact that everyone including the media has confirmed it exists and quoted from it as well.

    As for fundamental rights, it is our second amendment to “keep and bear arms”. To say someone cant have that is like saying you cant have your freedom of speech. Its the 1st & 2nd amendment for a reason. The founders knew what is was like to live under oppressive government…”enemies foreign & domestic”. Mao, Hitler, all the great dictators agree- gun control works.

    No, someone thats convicted of a violent act should be able to have guns, but to take that right away from everyone else is more dangerous and leaves good citizens vulnerable. England is a perfect example of the rise in violent/fatal crimes with firearms/knives after imposing gun bans. Prohibition never worked either. We have a right to protect the lives of us and our loved ones. The only people “for” gun bans are probably the majority that fear guns, dont own guns, or haven’t been a victim of violent crime.
    People kill each other more with cars each year but we wont ban those. Open shut case in my opinion. Simple common sense really.

    ps. You will get your source

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