(NaturalNews) In the wake of legislation passed by voters in Colorado and Washington State which legalized marijuana in defiance of federal drug laws, President Obama told Barbara Walters that he had instructed his Justice Department not to prosecute anyone smoking pot in these states.
"We've got bigger fish to fry," Obama stated. "It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal."
A year ago, in February 2011, Obama unilaterally declared unconstitutional a law duly passed by Congress and signed by then-President Bill Clinton - the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defined a lawful marriage as that between a man and a woman. As such, Obama sent a letter to Congress informing lawmakers that he had instructed his Justice Department to simply stop defending the law in court.
By comparison, when the state of Arizona passed an immigration reform measure the president and his political allies did not like, he instructed his Justice Department to go after that state with the full weight of the federal government. The Justice Department sued Arizona, even though the state's law did little more than mirror current federal immigration law.
Enter the gun control issue.
WWOD: What will Obama do?
Now that Congress is once again considering new legislation to ban guns and magazines, and implement other strict gun control measures, a number of states are considering legislation that would essentially nullify any new federal laws.
So the question becomes: Will Obama be so accommodating to states that pass laws in defiance of any new federal gun control legislation, as he was regarding marijuana and DOMA?
In mid-March the Senate Judiciary Committee passed two new gun control measures - the "Fix Gun Checks Act," sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; and a new "Assault Weapons Ban," sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (for the record, these two worked hand-in-hand before when, in the early 1990s, the first assault weapons ban passed).
Granted, the chances of either of these bills becoming law (they would have to get through the Republican-controlled House) are pretty slim, but a number of states are considering their own legislation that would preemptively defeat any new federal gun laws, CNSNews.com reported.
Here is a brief run-down of those state-level legislative efforts:
-- In Ohio, a pair of senators have introduced SB36, which prohibits gun seizures, gun registration schemes and weapons or magazine bans.
-- Sen. Jared Carpenter in Rand Paul's state of Kentucky introduced a measure that would prohibit the state from enforcing any new federal gun control legislation, should it be enacted. It passed overwhelmingly, 34-3.
-- The Idaho House has passed a bill criminalizing any act of enforcing new federal laws which ban, restrict, confiscate or require the registration of firearms or ammunition, in violation of the state's constitution. That measure, HB219, passed on a 55-13 vote.
-- Rep. Jim Morris sponsored a bill in the Louisiana legislature that "prohibits the enforcement of federal restrictions regarding the ownership or possession of semi-automatic firearms."
-- In Texas, Rep. Steve Toth sponsored House Bill 1076, which would disallow state and local police from enforcing new gun control measures passed at the federal level.
The Constitution doesn't bode well for would-be tyrants
There are similar efforts in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Arizona and Washington State.
At some point, if enough states with enough electoral votes pass legislation directly opposing federal gun control laws, there will be a legal showdown, and it is not a given that states will automatically lose.
It's worth noting that would-be tyrants in the federal government have already been handed a defeat over guns when the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Heller decision, upheld the Second Amendment's individual ownership clause. As far as new gun control laws are concerned, pro-Second Amendment supporters have the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to fall back on as well - amendments which reserve rights and responsibilities not specifically enumerated to the federal government for the states and for the people.