A number of states have looked at laws that would essentially nullify federal anti-gun efforts. I say essentially because it doesn’t actually impact the laws, only the ability of state and local law enforcement to enforce those laws on any level.
And those states have run into roadblocks from the courts.
A bill in Georgia basically ignores those roadblocks and charges straight ahead.
A bill introduced in the Georgia House would take on federal gun control; past, present, and future. Passage into law would represent a major step toward ending federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state.
Rep. Charlice Byrd introduced House Bill 1009 (HB1009) on Jan. 23. Titled the Second Amendment Preservation Act, the legislation would prohibit the use of state personnel or recourses for the enforcement of any federal gun control.
Specifically, it would prohibit public officers and employees of the state and its political subdivisions from enforcing or participating in any way in the enforcement of any federal acts, executive orders, administrative orders, rules, regulations, statutes, or ordinances regarding firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition. It also bars public offices and state employees from providing “material support” for enforcement of the same. Material support is defined as “voluntarily giving or allowing others to make use of lodging; communications equipment or services, including social media accounts; facilities; weapons; personnel; transportation; clothing; or other physical assets.”
Notably, HB1009 would establish this blanket prohibition on state or local enforcement of federal gun control with no determination of constitutionality necessary. This would include provisions of the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, President Trump’s bump-stock ban, two ATF regulations from executive orders issued by Joe Biden, proposed federal “red-flag laws,” and any future gun control schemes implemented by the federal government. In effect, the state of Georgia would only actively enforce Georgia laws relating to firearms.
Any political subdivision that employs a law enforcement officer who knowingly violates the law would be “liable to the injured party in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress and subject to a civil penalty of $50,000 per occurrence.”
The proposed law would also impose the same civil penalty on any political subdivision or law enforcement agency that knowingly employs a local, state, or federal agent who violated the law.
On one level, I’m tickled to death to see this.
After all, there shouldn’t be a requirement for local law enforcement to have to assist in enforcing federal laws. Especially since there isn’t generally any money coming from the feds for that purpose, turning such a requirement into an unfunded mandate.
But on the same token, the courts haven’t exactly sided with that argument so far.
In time, these kinds of laws will work their way through the judicial system and likely end up before the Supreme Court. There, the justices will either say it’s constitutional or provide a framework where states can at least set up a scheme that isn’t as likely to be struck down by lower courts.
I think it would be wise for Georgia and other states to wait and see how those cases go before passing their own measures.
That said, Georgia is going to do what it’s going to do, and it’ll be interesting to see if this passes in the first place. While the state seems to still be pro-gun despite turning a rather uncomfortable shade of purple lately–as a red state for decades, it’s hard to be comfortable with that kind of change–state lawmakers might not exactly tripping over themselves to poke the bear.
Constitutional carry passed, sure, but is there enough political will in Georgia to pass something like this?
We’ll have to see.