A modest little bill, H.B. 0104, called the “Firearms Protection Act” has the potential to re-ignite the whole states’ rights issue that many think was long settled by the Civil War. All it says is this:
Any official, agent or employee of the United States government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming and that remains exclusively within the borders of Wyoming shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be subject to imprisonment for not less than one (1) year and one (1) day or more than five (5) years, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both.
That’s all. Simple. Easy. Clear. And profoundly important in the freedom fight. Alex Newman, writing for The New American, says it exactly right. This is “nullification legislation that would void unconstitutional infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, even providing prison time for any federal agents who may try to enforce Washington, D.C., gun control in the state.”
The key word here is nullification. It goes to the core of the federal-state arrangement under the Constitution and understood by nearly everyone before Lincoln’s war. It’s the understanding, under the Tenth Amendment, that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” In other words, if it’s not expressly allowed, it’s forbidden. As my friend Jack McManus said, “The Constitution says the federal government can’t do this and it can’t do that, and if we forgot anything, it can’t do that either.”
Gary North makes two very good points. First, Wyoming is using the Tenth Amendment to defend the Second Amendment. Second, it’s going to be very costly for the feds to do anything about it. It’ll cost time and money, of course (ours, of course). But it’ll catch a great deal of attention – attention which will not work to the feds’ advantage.
So whatever the feds decide to do will not work out well for them. It’s positively delicious.
Wyoming lawmakers expect the bill to pass. Stay tuned.