Pennsylvania is not the place I would have thought this would start, but there it is.
A bill introduced in the Pennsylvania House would prohibit enforcement of some federal gun control laws. Passage of this bill would take a big step toward making Pennsylvania a sanctuary state for gun owners.

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R- Cranberry Township) introduced House Bill 357 (HB357) on Sept. 5, with 41 bipartisan cosponsors. Titled the “Right to Bear Arms Protection Act, the bill would declare any Federal law which attempts to register, restrict or ban a firearm, or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm,
“unenforceable within the borders of this Commonwealth.” This restriction would apply to both federal and state agents....

The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify in effect many federal actions. As noted by the National Governor’s Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”
It's not like they're starting the pick-and-choose-the-laws-you'll-enforce "sanctuary" thing.


sykes.1 said...

This is nullification, which is prohibited by the Constitution (which makes itself and federal law supreme over state law) and Supreme Court decisions. However, both so-called marijuana legalization by state and localities and sanctuary cities and staes are also nullification, which so far the Federal government and some federal courts have allowed. So who knows what the PA law will produce.

Christopher B said...

He would be on much stronger ground, and provide a good point about sanctuary laws, if it prohibited expenditure of resources (providing names and addresses, performing checks, etc) in support of such federal registration, if it were enacted.

I don't think it's accurate to say that Federal law is supreme, full stop. Federal laws can supercede state law if they wish, or co-exist with state law but in some areas the Feds don't have Constitutional authority, which is why Obamacare is a weird tax provision and not simply a law that you must buy health insurance ala state auto insurance requirements. The Feds can make marijuana a regulated drug but they can't force a state to pass laws criminalizing marijuana possesion. They could, as in the case of drinking age laws, condition Federal benefits on enacting such laws unless the USCC changes its mind.

E Hines said...

They could, as in the case of drinking age laws, condition Federal benefits on enacting such laws

Yes, but the Supremes, with Dole v South Dakota, made such conditioning toothless when they barred coercion from it.

Eric Hines

Eric Blair said...

Actually, it's in the Commonwealth's constitution:

21. Right to bear arms.

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

Ymarsakar said...

Here we go with nullification again. Nullifying the Fugitive Slave Acts done by abolitionist states like New York was one of the sparks that made the Southern states decide that secession was a good political power move.

Whether the Confeds existed for long or not, it would give those states additional negotiation and military power to back the push for a more federal dominating totalitarian version of the Fugitive Slave Acts.