Wyoming lawmakers are drawing a line in the sand over concern that Washington politicians may enact draconian firearms restrictions in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Wyoming, unofficially known as the “Cowboy State,” has decided to flex its muscles in the spirit of that rugged individualist with a six-shooter at each hip and a carbine resting in his saddle holster.
According to Charlie Spiering, writing for the Washington Examiner, “Wyoming lawmakers have proposed a new bill that, if passed, would nullify any federal restrictions on guns, threatening to jail federal agents attempting to confiscate guns, ammunition magazines or ammunition.”
The measure, House Bill 104, is co-sponsored by 8 Wyoming House members and two Senators. The Examiner interviewed one of those co-sponsors, state Senator Larry Hicks.
“They are very, very upset that we’re going to see some level of federal takeover of our weapons and abuse of our rights given to us by the Second Amendment,” Hicks stated. “Also that the federal government will bypass our legislative officials and confiscate our weapons through executive order. This gives citizens of the Western United States a great deal of concern.”
Assuming the bill is passed and signed into law, it could very well end up in a constitutional dog fight, with Wyoming relying on the Second and Tenth Amendments, and the feds citing the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.
Section VI, Clause 2, known as the Supremacy Clause, provides, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
In short, a state cannot pass a law that hinders the enforcement of a federal law, assuming, of course, the federal statute is itself constitutional. A state can also act independently of federal law if the law is connected to the receipt of federal funds. In such a case, the state would simply forfeit its right to the funds.
Hicks told the Examiner that the bill is nothing new, and was in fact modeled after a Montana law passed in 2009 in the middle of the first assault weapons ban.
“I don’t think this is controversial in Wyoming at all,” Hicks said. “I fully expect this bill to pass.”
Read more at The Washington Examiner.