UPDATE: There is a provision in this bill that we believe effectively invalidates all its noble rhetoric. Sec 46.16 (c)(4) provides a defense against prosecution. Surely all federal agents will argue that what they are doing is constitutional. We Texans’ contributor Dwayne Stovall makes the following observation:
Texas State Representative John Otto (District 18) filed H.B. 553, the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” on January 17th. “The Constitution was designed for times like these—when emotions run high and justice demands a response. But our Founders saw the wisdom in preserving our natural right of self-preservation and self-defense, and provided that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. My bill is designed to ensure that for Texans, at least, that will remain true.” ~ State Representative John Otto
The underlying problem is that he is focused on the wrong Constitution, but he is not alone. Many, if not all representatives from Texas as well as other States, are actually hurting the founding principles of Federalism, Republicanism and limited government [when they introduce this sort of legislation]; not to mention State Sovereignty and individual liberty. And although this bill, along with numerous other similar bills, has good intentions, it mistakenly gives sanction to what is known as the Incorporation Doctrine.
Representative Otto’s bill, perhaps unknowingly, supports extending the federal Bill of Rights to the States, which is simply wrong and can only end badly. The language of this bill, by arguing in favor of applying the U.S. Constitution’s 2nd amendment to the States, backhandedly supports Incorporation; the Federal Government’s position that it can extend the Bill of Rights to the States and create national laws affecting every State on issues such as prayer in schools, or having the Ten Commandments displayed in a State courthouse. This truly undermines Federalism and argues in favor of Nationalism. In simple terms; to argue the right to keep and bear arms, the Texas Constitution is as far as you need to go.
Here are few things we all need to know about gun control, State Constitutions, and the Bill of Rights.
1. The Constitution of the United States is a compact developed and ratified by the people of the several States to create a new Federal Government. It delegates strict, limited, and enumerated powers to the Federal Government, reserving ALL powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, to the States respectively, or to the people.
2. The Bill of Rights is a restriction on the Federal Government –ONLY– and the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed that understanding for over 130 years up until the 20th century, when the litany of progressive judges started to take over the judiciary.
3. States can regulate guns; the Federal Government cannot. If you were indoctrinated in the public school system, this will sound crazy, but it is true.
State Constitutions such as New York’s have no clause protecting the citizens of that State’s right to keep and bear arms; none. And in States that do protect the right to keep and bear arms, they still control regulation. Texas is a good example. The Texas Constitution reads:
Art. 1 Sec. 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.
4. If you believe that the Federal Government has the power to legislate gun control, prayer, or any other part of the Bill of Rights, across all 50 States, regardless of that State’s wishes, you are a supporter of the Incorporation Doctrine.
5. If you believe that the United States Constitution delegates enumerated and limited powers to the Federal Government and the individual States are sovereign and retain ALL remaining powers, you are an originalist, and we should all be originalists.
This post was written by our friends over at The Tenth Amendment Center
Introduced in Texas [this week], House Bill 553, is titled “The Second Amendment Preservation Act.”
The bill reaffirms the Second Amendment, as intended, and would nullify potentially anything from the federal government that contravenes in the State of Texas. It reads, in part:
…all federal acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, and rules or regulations of all kinds with the purpose, intent, or effect of confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore, infringes upon Texans’ right to bear arms in direct violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and therefore, any such law is not made in pursuance of the Constitution, is not authorized by the Constitution, and thus, is not the supreme law of the land, and consequently, is invalid in this State and shall be further considered null and void and of no effect in this State.
The bill goes further than just affirmation of the Second Amendment. It requires compliance by by state and federal agents:
A person who is a public servant commits an offense if the person, while acting under color of the person’s office or employment, intentionally enforces or attempts to enforce any acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, rules or regulations of any kind whatsoever of the United States government relating to confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore.
The legislation specifies that the new law would apply not just to state employees, but federal ones as well.
”Public servant,” includes an officer, employee, or agent of the United States; a branch, department, or agency of the United States; another person acting under a contract with a branch, department, or agency of the United States to provide a law enforcement or security service; or any other person acting under color of federal law.
HB553 also provides for criminal penalties for a violation of the 2nd Amendment in the State of Texas
An offense under Subsection (b) is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by confinement for a term not to exceed one year, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both the confinement and the fine.
Texans can join the 2nd Amendment Preservation group to support this bill on Facebook:
If you have concerns about the federal government banning firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition and would like to see this bill assigned to a committee and be up for debate on the house floor, please contact your Representative at this link.
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