A number of Wyoming lawmakers are proposing legislation intended to protect gun owners from any future federal ban on semi-automatic rifles or high capacity magazines, KTWO reports.
Introduced last week, the “Firearms Protection Act” would make any federal law banning semi-automatic rifles or limiting magazine capacity unenforceable in Wyoming.
In fact, under the proposed bill, anyone who tried to enforce a federal gun ban could be charged with a felony. The Wyoming Attorney General’s office would also be permitted to defend any state resident against a federal gun ban.
“An act relating to firearms; providing that any federal law which attempts to ban a semi-automatic firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm or other limitation on firearms in this state shall be unenforceable in Wyoming; proving a penalty; and providing for an effective date,” the bill states.
“Any official, agent or employee of the United States government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming and that remains exclusively within the borders of Wyoming shall be guilty of a felony,” the proposed legislation adds.
One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Wyoming State Senator Larry Hicks, told The Washington Examiner that this type of legislation sends a message to the federal government in Washington D.C.
“It says that your one size fits all solution doesn’t comport to what a vast majority of the state believes,” Hicks explained in an interview.
Citing the Tenth and the Second Amendments, Hicks asserted that the legislation was Constitutional, adding that he fully expected it to pass in the Wyoming state legislature. Hicks said that his Wyoming constituents were upset about the looming threat of gun control coming from Washington, particularly since Vice President Biden signaled yesterday that President Obama was willing to issue an executive order to tackle the gun issue.
Hicks explained that the model of the bill was taken from a bill passed in the State of Montana in 2009 adding that it wasn’t much different from what he’d seen other states do.
Whether or not such a law would actually be effective is a topic that will likely be debated. However, the so-called “Supremacy Clause” in the U.S. Constitution says federal law overrules state law when the two conflict. Still, as we’ve seen in states that have recently legalized marijuana, like Colorado and Washington, the feds don’t always immediately exert their power over a state’s sovereignty.
Read the entire Firearms Protection Act here.
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