Sanctuary State

When it comes to a flat refusal to participate in enforcing Federal laws against immigration, it's clear that this is a bad practice. On the other hand, what about Montana?
On Saturday, the Montana Senate gave final approval to a bill that would take big steps toward making the state a sanctuary for gun rights by prohibiting state enforcement of most federal acts restricting firearms, magazines or ammunition. If signed into law, it would effectively stop any such federal acts in practice within the state.

Sen. Cary Smith (R-Billings) introduced Senate Bill 99 (SB99) on Jan. 9. The legislation would prohibit any state or local government employee, or law enforcement officers, from enforcing, assisting in the enforcement of, or in any way cooperating with enforcement of a federal ban on firearms, magazines, or ammunition. The proposed law specifically prohibits participating in any federal enforcement action implementing such a ban....

The legislation would also prohibit expending or allocating public funds or resources for the enforcement of such federal acts on firearms, magazines or ammunition.
The position in favor of Montana but against Maryland would be that the Federal government does indeed have lawful authority to regulate immigration, but that the 2nd Amendment's "shall not be infringed" clause strips that authority with regards to firearms. Now, that is clearly not the Federal government's opinion of the matter -- not even under Heller. Still, it is a plausible textual reading of the Constitution.



MikeD said...

While I normally dislike political stunts such as this, it's a good object lesson for those states that seem to believe that they are justified in ignoring federal law. After all, one day it will be their ox getting gored, and then it will of course be a "troubling example of lawlessness" from the States that deny their "common sense legislation".

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Over at Volokh there is some disapproval of the fight against sanctuary cities because the order deprives suspects of basic rights. There is a difference between the accused and the convicted, and I think they have a strong point.

Political stunt. Yes, likely. Was it ever thus? Do we have a false picture of the reasonableness of earlier generalisations?

Grim said...

I'm not aware of the Volokh discussion, so I'm not sure how to evaluate the argument. Do you know where it is?

DL Sly said...

Yeah, well it sounds really great coming out of the Republican legislature, however, sadly, we have a hardcore, full-on leftist Democrat for a governor. This, just like all other gun rights legislation that has come out of our state congress the past couple years, will never make it past his desk alive.

Ymar Sakar said...

The South fought a civil war using whites who didn't own slaves, on the basis of forcing abolitionist Northern states to enforce federal laws like the Fugitive Slave Acts.

A similar pattern is repeating itself I see.