A new bill would help to put an end to intrusive and immoral federal gun control measures. At least in the territory of Kentucky.
House Bill 120, which was introduced on January 3rd, would require the Kentucky General Assembly to stand to the federal government if officials required the state’s resources to implement federal gun controls that would impact the Bluegrass state.
The state government body would be required to act against federal pushes by adopting “and [enacting] any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation which attempts to commandeer local or state law enforcement officers to enforce federal restrictions on firearms in violation of the Constitution of the United States,” the bill reads.
If signed into law, the bill would serve as an emergency safeguard, requiring state officials to stand up to federal pressure in case feds try to commandeer state resources. As more states are passing similar bills, effectively nullifying the federal government’s power over state residents, the idea that feds may try to commandeer resources from place like Kentucky isn’t far-fetched.
While HB120 has just been introduced, it still too early for us to know if it will pass or if it will be signed into law. It’s currently pending review by the House Judiciary Committee where the piece of legislation must pass with a majority vote before it heads to the full House for further consideration.
To anti-federal overreach advocates like members of the Tenth Amendment Center, this type of action rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. Initially, it was based on four Supreme Court cases from 1842 that held that the federal government may not compel states to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program against their will.
As states act against parts of the drug war unilaterally, many also act to keep the feds from ever infringing on locals’ gun rights. But the “nullification” approach can also be used for other purposes.
If Kentucky’s legislature passes HB120 and it’s eventually signed into law, it could set a precedent for future action, allowing other bills to surface requiring state officials to say no to the federal government when it comes to enforcing other intrusive, immoral laws.