Commentary

Growing Number Of States Eye Bills To Defy Federal Gun Laws

By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. | March 16, 2013 | 9:01pm EDT

Shortly after voters in Colorado and Washington State approved measures that legalized the recreational use of marijuana, President Obama told Barbara Walters that his Justice Department would not prosecute pot users in these states.

"We've got bigger fish to fry," Obama said.

Although the state measures defy federal law, it appears Barack Obama is giving each state a pass on this issue.

But, will Obama also respect states that pass legislation in defiance of federal law when it comes to firearms?

On March 12 and 14, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed both Sen. Charles Schumer's (D-NY) "Fix Gun Checks Act," which would criminalize all private firearm sales and Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) "Assault Weapons Ban."

These bills have a long way to go before they become law - if they ever do - but states across the nation are introducing their own legislation to preemptively defeat any new federal gun laws.

In Ohio, two senators have introduced SB36, which would prohibit firearms seizures, registration and bans in their state.

Sen. Jared Carpenter introduced a bill that would prohibit Kentucky from enforcing new federal gun control laws if they're enacted.  The measure passed by a vote of 34-3.

The Idaho House of Representatives passed a bill that criminalizes the act of enforcing any new federal laws than ban, restrict, confiscate, or require registration of firearms or ammunition in violation of the state's constitution.

HB219 passed by a 55-13 vote.

In Louisiana, Rep. Jim Morris sponsored a bill that "prohibits the enforcement of federal restrictions regarding the ownership or possession of semi-automatic firearms."

The House Public Safety Committee in Oklahoma passed HB2021 that would also prohibit the enforcement of federal gun laws.

House Bill 1076, sponsored by Rep. Steve Toth in Texas, would disallow state and local police from enforcing new gun control measures passed by the federal government.

In Kansas, the House approved three pro-gun bills, one of which prohibits the federal government from enforcing gun laws or bans on firearms and accessories manufactured, sold, or kept in the state.

The "Arizona Firearms: Prohibited Enforcement" bill would make it a Class 6 felony for the federal government to enforce new laws or regulations on guns, accessories and ammunition owned or manufactured in the state.

Senate bill 63 in Michigan would exempt firearms and firearms accessories made and sold exclusively in Michigan from federal gun restrictions.

And in Washington State, a state that recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the House has introduced HB 1371 which reads as follows:

"Any federal law, rule, regulation, or order created or effective on or after January 1, 2013, shall be unenforceable within the borders of Washington if the law, rule, regulation, or order attempts to: (a) Ban or restrict ownership of a semiautomatic firearm or any magazine of a firearm; or (b) Require any firearm, magazine, or other firearm accessory to be registered in any manner."

I ask once again, should federal gun legislation pass, will President Obama respect the laws passed in the individual states, as he has in regards to marijuana use?

To see the status of other state-sponsored bills, click here.

See more "Right Views, Right Now."

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