New Hampshire Proposes State Sovereignty Law--With A Twist !
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01/03/2010 01:32 PM
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New Hampshire proposes state sovereignty law--with a twist
We've talked many times before (a few links are below the flag picture at the right) about the growing movement on the part of states to assert their sovereign powers as protected by the Tenth Amendment. In the context of discussions here, this comes down to states proposing (and in the cases of Montana and Tennessee, already passing) laws that would exempt firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories manufactured in-state, and kept in-state, from federal regulation. This, as one might expect, doesn't sit well with the feds, and is being challenged. The BATFE, in the meantime, has already announced its intention of ignoring such laws.
That is not stopping more states from hopping on the state sovereignty bandwagon, with the lastest to do so being New Hampshire.
Pre-filed for the 2010 legislative session in New Hampshire, House Bill 1285 (HB1285) seeks to “exempt firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition manufactured in New Hampshire from federal law and regulation.”
Don't call the Live Free or Die state a copycat, though--the New Hampshire bill contains a very interesting provision not (to my knowledge) seen in any of the other states' legislation.
Any official, agent, or employee of the government of the United States, or employee of a corporation providing services to the government of the United States that enforces or attempts to enforce a act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in New Hampshire and that remains within the State of New Hampshire shall be guilty of a class B felony. (emphasis added)
Hmm--I'm guessing that's not going to sit well with the BATFE, or the entire federal government, for that matter.
This will be something to watch with interest--first, to see if the bill passes, and second, to see if New Hampshire backs up its position with force, and actually arrests and prosecutes feds who persecute New Hampshire residents who obey New Hampshire law, but run afoul of federal law.
Update: Looking at the text of the bill, I see another interesting difference between New Hampshire's state sovereignty bill and those of other states. The other states' legislation--I think in every case--defer to the feds on many NFA items (although generally not suppressors--AKA "silencers"). In other words, Montana and Tennessee (and others) are not at this time challenging federal authority to regulate machine guns, large bore firearms, etc. That was one of the things that disappointed me a bit about their legislation, although I suppose there are arguments that could be made for that approach, from the tactical perspective of trying to first get the bill passed in the state legislature, and second to prevail in federal court. In New Hampshire's legislation, on the other hand, I see no such exception. Ambitious
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