Shiloh memorial, Tennessee (courtesy pinterest.com)

Legislators in Tennessee have re-introduced bills in the House and Senate to prohibit state or local governments from using funds or personnel to implement or enforce any federal or international regulation of guns, ammunition, or accessories.  The bill is the same as one introduced in 2017.  The legislators even forgot to change the year for the bill’s implementation . . .

The Senate bill is SB0146, the House bill is HB1407:

(1) On or after July 1, 2017, no public funds of this state, or any political subdivision of this state, shall be allocated to the implementation, regulation, or enforcement of any federal law, executive order, rule, or regulation regulating the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories.

(2) On or after July 1, 2017, no personnel or property of this state, or any political subdivision of this state, shall be allocated to the implementation, regulation, or enforcement of any federal law, executive order, rule, or regulation regulating the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories.

The ATF no longer requires a chief law enforcement officer sign-off for National Firearms Act tax stamps. The bill would not affect those.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Federal Government may not require state and local governments to expend resources to enforce federal law, in Printz v. United States (1997), under the Tenth Amendment. From justia.com, Justice Scalia writing:

(e) Contrary to the contention of JUSTICE STEVENS’ dissent, the Brady Act’s direction of the actions of state executive officials is not constitutionally valid under Art. I, § 8, as a law “necessary and proper” to the execution of Congress’s Commerce Clause power to regulate handgun sales. Where, as here, a law violates the state sovereignty principle, it is not a law “proper for carrying into Execution” delegated powers within the Necessary and Proper Clause’s meaning. Cf. New York v. United States, 505 U. S. 144, 166. The Supremacy Clause does not help the dissent, since it makes “Law of the Land” only “Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance [of the Constitution].” Art. VI, cl. 2. pp. 923-925.

What would the downside, if any, be if this bill were to pass? Would State officials be prohibited from running background checks, for issuing Tennessee handgun carry permits?  It is not clear the bill would affect background checks done to enforce Tennessee law.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

27 COMMENTS

      • That’s what I thought too.

        Then I thought — wait — the 2nd specifically prohibits the federal government from infringing on the people’s rights, so — Tennessee is actually following the Constitution in refusing to enforce unconstitutional laws.

        That changes things.

        • The 2A more specifically requires the Federal government to remediate infringements by the state and local governments. But that never happens. When was the last time the DoJ brought suit against a state on 2A grounds?

        • The slave quarters provided by democrats are called Public Housing Projects. You are not allowed to own or possess a firearm while you live in the government slave quarters.

          Also it against the law to get married if you receive welfare. It is also against the law to have heterosexual sex as a single mother while you are on welfare. The democrats have prosecuted many single mothers for this over the decade’s.

          Republicans want to end the slavery of the Welfare Industrial Complex. Democrats, the socialist progressives support it.

    • Sanctuary cities are a criminal conspiracy.

      Respecting human and civil rights, in other words, obeying the constitution is not a criminal act.

    • Only a very despicable person would equate protecting criminal invaders with protecting the 2A rights of decent citizens.

  1. Glad to see Tennessee is on the side of Rights. A fun law nugget is that they were one of the first states to pass gun control laws against poor whites and blacks after the civil war.

    • Or…

      = You’re clueless.

      Did you happen to miss this text, above? “The Supreme Court has ruled that the Federal Government may not require state and local governments to expend resources to enforce federal law, in Printz v. United States (1997), under the Tenth Amendment.

      Meaning the Fed cannot force any state to use its resources (time, money, personnel) to enforce Federal law. How can you blame a state for exercising its prerogatives under Federal law?

      If the Feds wish to enforce their own laws, no one is stopping them.

  2. City, county or state law enforcement agencies that take federal dollars must agree to comply with any rules the federal bureaucracy attaches to that money. If any state decides to stop dancing like a puppet and cuts those strings, there is nothing the federal government can do about it. This is not an issue of states rights or powers, this is an issue of states not being whores.

  3. They should call it a sanctuary state. :rofl: if we are at a point where weed and immigration are states rights issues why not have the sword cut both ways? In reality the laws that are being ignored are dubious constitutionally and the libs can’t say its not their right due to the slave states.

  4. This would mean defacto non NFA suppressors. Last July they enacted a law removing all state prohibition of suppressors (as far as the state of Tennessee is concerned, they are as legal as water and buckshot now). Couple this proposed bill in to hamstring local law enforcement from turning non registered suppressor owners over to the ATF and it would be a defacto FU to the feds, as the ATF doesn’t have the man power, funding, or time to be everywhere in Tennessee investigating every suppressor so long as someone isn’t stupid enough to try and start selling them. Sure the ATF could hit big ranges in big cities, but what about all the country boys shooting in their back yard? If this were to pass, the ATF would have a hard time prosecuting anyone for a suppressor that wasn’t entirely retarded. There was also a bill last session that passed allowing firearms dealers to sell off “parts of their collections” as private sellers which is naturally in contrast to the feds. I don’t think this proposed bill will have any bearing on background checks, as we already have to be ran through TBI checks that are separate(supposedly an enhancement) from the fed mandated NCIS. If I’m not mistaken, the TBI background checks are coded into Tennessee law on their own anyways.

    • Finally, someone who get’s it. Gov. Haslam is also on his way out. There is no way this will become law, apart from the fact that it would defund TICS. It’s a good bill for grandstanding in an election year though.

      Somehow, the re-introduction of a state legislature bill that didn’t made it last session seems to be news worthy to TTAG. Slow news day?

      • No way the bill could become law because of a Haslam veto? You really need to read up on how Tennessee government works. A simple majority overrules a governors veto. Tennessee has one of the weakest governors in the nation. We didn’t like Yankees forcing military governors on us so we gave them no power.

        • It’s not bad here. I only get to live here a few more months, then off to parts unknown. There is a lot to like about this state.

        • Erik, you need to understand how TN state legislature politics works, especially on guns. There is a lot of posturing, and then a lot of nothing. If Gov. Haslam doesn’t want to sign it, it likely won’t be put in front of him in the first place, especially a bill that effectively ends TICS and requires a complete change of how ATF 4473 background checks are done in TN.

          See the original Guns In Parks law, Gov. Haslam’s delay on it to make sure it becomes law AFTER the NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville, Knoxville’s outright violation of the law, the NRA caving on a law suit against Knoxville, and the eventual rewrite of the law that makes Knoxville’s gun ban in Chilhowee Park legal. See: https://tennesseefirearms.com/2017/08/lawsuit-over-parks-ban-against-knoxville-to-be-dismissed-as-moot-because-of-new-tennessee-law/

          Or, see 2016 TN SB 1736, which I expected to show up here in the comments. There is still a wide belief in the Internet gun community that TN is the first state that enacted a liability clause for those businesses that post a gun-free zone. While this was the original intent of the bill, it got completely reversed by an amendment. See: https://bearingarms.com/jenn-j/2016/06/28/want-a-gun-free-zone-tennessee-says-thats-on-you-literally/

          Again, why is the re-introduction of a state legislature bill that didn’t made it last session news worthy?

    • Can we stop calling them RINOs? Nothing will improve if we keep insisting that “real Republicans” care about freedom, and that the rest are “imposters.” Republicans, like all politicians, care about their own power and position, nothing more.

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