The Battle Begins: ATF vs the Constitution

From the 10th Amendment Center
Posted on 18 July 2009
by Bryce Shonka

A line was drawn in the sand last week – a response by the Federal Government to the State of Tennessee and their assertion of sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

(10th Amendment Center’s Editor’s note: A similar response was sent to Montana Firearms licenses on 07-16-09 as well)

Part of a series of moves by states seeking to utilize the Tenth Amendment as a limit on Federal Power, the Tennessee State Senate approved Senate Bill 1610 (SB1610), the Tennesse Firearms Freedom Act, by a vote of 22-7. The House companion bill, HB1796 previously passed the House by a vote of 87-1.

Governor Breseden allowed the bill to become law without signing.

The law states that “federal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in Tennessee and remains in Tennessee. The limitation on federal law and regulation stated in this bill applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured using basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported into this state.”…

…Constitutional historian Kevin R. C. Gutzman (said), “…As I told Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox News’s Glenn Beck Program on June 5, 2009, federal officials don’t care about a good historical argument concerning the meaning of the Constitution.

“Their view is that the states exist for the administrative convenience of the Federal Government, and so of course any conflict between state and federal policy must be resolved in favor of the latter.

“This is another way of saying that the Tenth Amendment is not binding on the Federal Government. Of course, that amounts to saying that federal officials have decided to ignore the Constitution when it doesn’t suit them.”

The Federal Government has regularly claimed that the commerce clause of the constitution, which gives DC authority to regulate commerce between the states, gives them authority to regulate or add prohibitions on items that never cross state lines…

[The entire article can be found at the 10th Amendment Center's website using the link at the top of this entry.]

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