BOISE, March 21, 2014 – On Thursday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) signed a bill, which would effectively nullify future federal gun laws, by prohibiting state enforcement of any future federal act relating to personal firearms, a firearm accessories or ammunition.
S1332 passed the house by a vote of 68-0 and the senate by a vote of 34-0. Alaska and Kansas have also passed similar laws.
Erich Pratt, Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America, cheered the governor’s action. “By signing this nullification bill into law, Idaho has joined an elite class of states that are telling the feds to ‘get lost’ — especially when it comes to unconstitutional gun control infringements”
Introduced by the State Affairs Committee, the Idaho Federal Firearm, Magazine and Register Ban Enforcement Act, will:
“protect Idaho law enforcement officers from being directed, through federal executive orders, agency orders, statutes, laws, rules, or regulations enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this act, to violate their oath of office and Idaho citizens’ rights under Section 11, Article I, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho.”
The legislation continued:
any official, agent or employee of the state of Idaho or a political subdivision thereof who knowingly and willfully orders an official, agent or employee of the state of Idaho or a political subdivision of the state to enforce any executive order, agency order, law, rule or regulation of the United States government as provided in subsection (2) of this section upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition shall, on a first violation, be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) which shall be paid into the general fund of the state…
S1332 also includes an emergency provision meaning it takes effect immediately upon signature.
Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey considered the legislation a good start. “This is an important first step for Idaho,” he said. “Getting this law passed will ensure that any new plans or executive orders that might be coming our way will not be enforced in Idaho. Then, once this method is established and shown to be effective, legislators can circle back and start doing the same for federal gun control already on the books. SB1332 is an important building block for protecting the 2nd Amendment in Idaho.”
Passage into law represents a giant step forward in protecting the right to keep and bear arms in Idaho. As the law now stands, state and local law enforcement will not cooperate with all future federal firearm laws.
The bill rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce and federal act or program The anti-commandeering doctrine rests primarily on four Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. Printz v. United States serves as the cornerstone.
Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said that the new Idaho law has opened Pandora’s box even wider.
“People are beginning to realize that this practice is completely constitutional and legal. In the near future, you will see a wave of states passing even broader legislation to fight the federal government on everything ranging from more traditionally liberal issues like hemp and marijuana, to more conservative issues like Obamacare.” Boldin continued, “Nullification isn’t a left vs. right issue. It destroys the fallacy of the left right paradigm and is the remedy for all unconstitutional laws.”
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