BREAKING: New Florida Legislation Would Essentially Nullify Federal Gun Laws

By: Michael Lotfi
15

FLCAP


Tallahassee, Janurary 27, 2014– The Florida legislature will consider a bill that would prohibit any state agency from cooperating with enforcement of federal gun laws.

Rep. Dan Eagle (R-Cape Coral) introduced HB733 on Monday. The Second Amendment Protection Act declares that no agent of the state or its political subdivisions may participate with or assist federal agents in the enforcement of unconstitutional federal firearms laws, or provide material support of any kind to federal agents in the enforcement of these laws. State agents and/or contractors who knowingly participate in or provide support for the enforcement of federal firearms laws would be subject to dismissal.

“The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution expressly provides that all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states. Time and time again, Florida has proven that we have the best solutions to our own issues, whether it be healthcare, education, or our balanced budget, which is accomplished without raising taxes. When it comes to protecting our fundamental Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution, I believe it is best left to be handled by Floridians for Floridians,” Eagle said.

The legislation would not attempt to stop federal agents from enforcing gun laws, but would pull the plug on any state cooperation. 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 cases dating back to 1842. Printz v. US serves as the cornerstone.

Montana sheriff Jay Printz and Arizona sheriff Richard Mack sued the federal government over provisions in the 1993 Brady Gun Bill that required chief law enforcement officers in each county to administer background checks. The Supreme Court majority held the feds could not force compliance by state officers.

“The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy-making is involved, and no case-by-case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.”

Mack has since called working at the state and local level the key to fighting tyranny.

Florida Tenth Amendment Center outreach director Francisco Rodriguez said the proposed act would make it very difficult for the federal government to enforce its gun laws.

“The federal government relies on state and local assistance for almost everything. One source I read indicated that state or local police assist in seven out of every 10 ATF raids. That’s a lot of help that will disappear in the blink of an eye,” he said. “Now imagine if 20 or 30 states followed suit. It would make it virtually impossible for the feds to violate the Second Amendment.”

Florida Tenth Amendment Center state coordinator Andrew Nappi said Rep. Eagle first became interested in this bill almost a year ago and called to discuss the model legislation.

“The timing last year just could not be worked out. But Representative Eagle said he would not forget about this bill and he didn’t. He remained true to his word, and we began working with him on this last fall,” Nappi said. “This is a substantial attempt to push back against federal actions violating the Second Amendment. Representative Eagle has not only kept his word by sponsoring the bill this year, he set an example for others who say they support the Second Amendment, but stop short of taking action.”

Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center indicate a Senate version of the bill will likely be introduced in the next week or so.

Follow Michael Lotfi on Facebook and on Twitter: @MichaelLotfi

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Michael Lotfi is a political analyst and strategist living in Nashville, Tennessee where he works as the executive director for the Tenth Amendment Center (TN). Lotfi also writes a column at The Washington Times called "American Millennial". Lotfi graduated in the top 5% of his class with honors from Belmont University, an award winning, private university located in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Terry
  • Shorty Stuff

    This really doesn’t nullify anything. It only encourages the federal government to hire more taxpayer funded federal employees to fill the ranks of the FBI, TSA, DEA, and all the other federal alphabet agencies. They should outlaw the enforcement of anti-constitutional law instead of just not working with the feds.

    • sickntired

      “Who Can Determine If A “Law” Is Unconstitutional?
      For over a hundred years attorneys, judges and many others
      have been professing that only courts, and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court, can determine what is unconstitutional.
      Today, many legislators often say: We don’t need to determine if a Bill is unconstitutional because after it becomes a law,
      eventually
      someone will challenge it in court and the courts will do their duty to
      judge the law. To support their position, those that claim that only
      the courts can determine what is unconstitutional
      generally point to the U.S. Supreme Court case opinion in
      MARBURY v. MADISON, 5 U.S. 137 (1803)
      .
      However, this is not the correct conclusion drawn from the opinion written by Chief Justice Marshall in
      this case. At the very end of his opinion, Chief Justice John Marshall states:

      “Why does a judge swear to discharge his duties agreeably to the
      Constitution of the United States, if that constitution forms no rule
      for his government? if it is closed upon him and cannot be inspected by
      him?
      If such be the real state of things, this is worse than solemn
      mockery. To prescribe or to take this oath becomes equally a crime.
      It
      is also not entirely unworthy of observation that, in declaring what
      shall be the Supreme law of the land, the Constitution itself is first
      mentioned, and not the laws of the United States generally, but those
      only which shall be made in pursuance of the
      Constitution,have that rank.
      Thus,
      the particular phraseology of the Constitution of the United States
      confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all
      written Constitutions, that a law repugnant to the C
      onstitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments,
      are bound by that instrument.”
      Chief
      Justice Marshall was correctly saying that, like everyone in
      government, those in the judicial branch, because of their “oath of
      office”, have a required constitutional duty to examine and
      determine if their actions are constitutional or unconstitutional. To not so discharge their duties “ is worse than
      solemn mockery. To prescribe, or to take this oath, becomes equally a crime.”
      We also must remember that it is settled law that an unconstitutional“ law” is not law.
      “The
      general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the
      form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and
      ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the
      time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so
      branding it.
      No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.”
      [16 Am. Jur. 2d, Section 177; later 2d, Section 256]“

  • Gizzy

    It’s a step in the right direction. They need to simply pass a law here that states Florida will not comply with any unconstitutional Federal laws period. Not just simply not cooperate with them at the local level.

    • sickntired

      “Who Can Determine If A “Law” Is Unconstitutional?
      For over a hundred years attorneys, judges and many others
      have been professing that only courts, and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court, can determine what is unconstitutional.
      Today, many legislators often say: We don’t need to determine if a Bill is unconstitutional because after it becomes a law,
      eventually someone will challenge it in court and the courts will do their duty to judge the law. To support their position, those that claim that only the courts can determine what is unconstitutional
      generally point to the U.S. Supreme Court case opinion in
      MARBURY v. MADISON, 5 U.S. 137 (1803)
      .
      However, this is not the correct conclusion drawn from the opinion written by Chief Justice Marshall in
      this case. At the very end of his opinion, Chief Justice John Marshall states:
      “Why does a judge swear to discharge his duties agreeably to the Constitution of the United States, if that constitution forms no rule for his government? if it is closed upon him and cannot be inspected by him?
      If such be the real state of things, this is worse than solemn mockery. To prescribe or to take this oath becomes equally a crime.
      It is also not entirely unworthy of observation that, in declaring what shall be the Supreme law of the land, the Constitution itself is first mentioned, and not the laws of the United States generally, but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the
      Constitution,have that rank.
      Thus, the particular phraseology of the Constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written Constitutions, that a law repugnant to the C
      onstitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments,
      are bound by that instrument.”
      Chief Justice Marshall was correctly saying that, like everyone in government, those in the judicial branch, because of their “oath of office”, have a required constitutional duty to examine and
      determine if their actions are constitutional or unconstitutional. To not so discharge their duties “ is worse than
      solemn mockery. To prescribe, or to take this oath, becomes equally a crime.”
      We also must remember that it is settled law that an unconstitutional“ law” is not law.
      “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it.
      No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.”
      [16 Am. Jur. 2d, Section 177; later 2d, Section 256]“

      • Nunyadambizness

        Now, if we actually had people in the government that actually followed the Constitution, it would truly matter what Justice Marshall stated so eloquently. Unfortunately, king Obozo, his minions, sycophants, and toadies in the federal government couldn’t care less what’s in the Constitution and have been trampling it since day one of his, the most corrupt administration in the history of this country, taking office at the White House.

  • Richard W.

    Misleading title is misleading. This law would not “essentially nullify” jack shit. It’s better than nothing but it would be truly something else if the law stated that any federal agent trying to enforce federal gun laws would be subject to arrest and prosecution by the state of Florida. Still waiting for this to happen…

    • Tannim

      That and in every other state. It’s needed, BADLY!

    • Tuaca1107

      Well, my question would be, regarding subject to arrest If you are a citizen of a State and not a US 14th Amendment Citizen, and the State is enforcing 10th Amendment, doesn’t the State have an obligation to protect citizens who are lawfully following State law?

      Just wondering.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    This makes 10 states. That is 20% of the country and many more have their process in the works.

  • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

    Well this is good because ALL Federal gun control laws are unconstitutional as well as any that the state of Florida uses.

  • Barry Nicholson

    The Government is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

  • Rd. House

    Has anyone considered a citizens arrest? Should any federal officer attempt to arrest a citizen in violation of the constitution, he/she leaves themselves open to arrest by the citizen.

    • Mumbotron

      That is a marvelous way to be shot or arrested for obstruction.
      I think you would be in the right from both a moral and legal standpoint, but as we’ve seen, the feds have little regard for laws OR morals. You would need to arrest every fed on site, and that would require a hell of a lot of armed citizens to overpower the goons, and would most likely result in a bloodbath.
      Arresting our “law enforcers” is an immensely dangerous prospect. But I wish you godspeed if you ever decide to do it.

  • Rex

    Hey…are you still there??? Well, the Second Amendment which was written much after the passage of all the other laws preempts all Federal and States firearms laws. Nothing in the Second Amendment says that this Amendment can be legislated upon by Congress or the States.
    The Amendment says, and by know we all know it, that the “RIGHT
    of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be “INFRINGED”. Infringed means that it cannot be taken away. By passing unconstitutional firearms legislation States and Congress are doing just that. They are taken away that right from the people.
    Furthermore, the Amendment doesn’t say that ” Congress and the States or the States or Congress shall have power to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation”. as we can see in all other articles in the Constitution where our forefathers granted powers to Congress and States to pass certain laws. Last year a Sheriff in Florida was acquitted when he somehow got involved over a dispute with a Deputy Sheriff who had arrested a man who was carrying an unlicensed firearm. The Sheriff did not like that that man was arrested for carrying a firearm and believing that that Florida law was unconstitutional order that that man be released from jail and destroyed all documents relating to that arrest.
    He was arrested by order of the Attorney General or the Governor’s Office and was suspended from office. At the trial he told the jury that he did what he did because he believed that the Second Amendment preempts all firearm laws laws and the jury sided with him and was acquitted and reinstated to his office by the Governor.