States and towns take action to nullify unconstitutional federal gun disarmament laws

Monday, January 14, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: gun laws, state nullification, unconstitutional

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(NaturalNews) A cascade of reports emanating from the White House since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December make it clear that President Obama, despite a pledge in 2008 not to come after firearms, plans to make gun control one of his second-term cornerstones.

A report in the Washington Post Jan. 6 laid bare his strategy: The president plans to use a combination of methods to coerce, cajole, pressure and circumvent in order to enact "a far broader and more comprehensive approach to curbing the nation's gun violence than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, according to multiple people involved in the administration's discussions."

So much talk of new gun control regulations - despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June striking down Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban while reaffirming the Second Amendment's individual right to keep and bear arms - has led to record gun and ammunition sales as panicky Americans seek to stock up ahead of new laws and regulations that may be on the horizon.

'The right to be armed shall not be questioned'

But others are taking a different tack altogether, like officials in Gilberton, Pa., a small burough in Schuylkill County. Though the town only boasts a population of a little more than 820, the top law enforcement official there is making a big, bold statement.

Police Chief Mark Kessler has written what he calls a Second Amendment Preservation ordinance that he plans to introduce to the town council during its Jan. 24 meeting. If adopted, the ordinance would require the city to "enact any and all measures as may be necessary" to prevent any violations of the Second Amendment by any federal, state or local government or entity.

Besides formally recognizing the Constitution's guarantee of an individual right to keep and bear arms, Kessler has noted the additional protections afforded by the state constitution also specifically recognize the "Right to Bear Arms" under Section 21.

"The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned," the section reads.

In addition, Kessler's proposal would require the local government to nullify "all federal, state or local acts in violation of the Second Amendment" and declare them to be invalid within Gilberton Borough limits, according to

Nullification of federal statutes deemed unconstitutional by states comes from the Tenth Amendment, say legal experts, which defers all powers not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution to the states and the American people.

In an email to, Kessler said he didn't expect that his ordinance would "do much" beyond sending a message to those in the media and in the nation's capital. Nevertheless, he said he felt it was important to make a stand in defense of lawful, constitutional gun owners.

Still, some argue a much more widespread effort by local cities and counties - and perhaps even entire state legislatures - to push back against new gun control measures like those favored by the president and his supporters would be effective at stopping them.

Several measures are being considered

Currently, a working group directed by Obama and led by Vice President Joe Biden is formulating a package of policy and legislative recommendations to present to the president this month.

"Once Obama's proposals are set, he plans to lead a public-relations offensive to generate popular support," the Washington Post reported.

Potential recommendations include:

-- Reinstate the 1994 assault weapons ban, with its additional ban on high-capacity magazines (anything over 10 rounds);

-- Strengthen the 1994 ban by enlarging the list of weapons, which could include more specific types of semi-automatic rifles along with some handguns and even some shotguns;

-- Require background checks for any and all weapons purchased from dealers at gun shows and private individuals;

-- Enlist support from large retailers like Wal-Mart by writing rules and regulations that would ultimately benefit their businesses while hurting smaller gun shops, such as closing the so-called "gun show loophole," which could drive up retail sales.

"They are very clearly committed to looking at this issue comprehensively," said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Obama knows that legislatively, he faces a Republican-controlled House that just lost a bruising political and public-relations battle with him over taxes and, therefore, that he stands little chance of ramming through sweeping new laws that would likely face constitutional challenges anyway. Still, the president, as head of the Executive Branch and the agencies that fall under it, does have some options, which would include changes in policy, new regulatory requirements and executive orders. Though he does not face reelection, Democrats in the House and Senate do, so he will have to be mindful of their political futures when considering any new rules and regulations.

All that said, it is a safe bet to say that some form of new gun measures will be forthcoming. Nullification is one way to fight even those.


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