Opponents of federal 'gun control' efforts have a new strategy that they hope will negate any federal efforts to limit their ability to own firearms - the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The Amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791, as part of the Bill of Rights. It outlines the Constitution's principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.
The Firearms Freedom Act, a bill pending in the Indiana legislature would (according to its authors) use the Amendment to nullify a considerable amount of assumed federal power over firearms.
Proponents feel that control of guns falls under public safety, and in their interpretation is unquestionably "reserved to the states" within the meaning of the Tenth Amendment. Therefore, as a matter reserved to the states, state gun control laws are immune from federal review.
The bill was filed by Republican Indiana Senator Dennis Kruse and is in committee. It seeks to establish that firearms and accessories made in the state would be immune to federal regulation. Senate Bill 130 (SB130) provides that, "a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Indiana... and remains within the borders of Indiana, is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce."
By maintaining all phases of gun development within it's borders, proponents believe they can get around interstate commerce laws, which they claim are frequently utilized to justify the federal government to become involved in matters they have no other jurisdiction in.
Many gun enthusiasts fear the federal government is about to implement new controls on weapons, accessories and ammunition in the wake of high profile mass shootings like the one in Newtown, CO. where 20 elementary students and six faculty members were gunned down.
Some extremists feel the government might try to ban or even 'take away' their weapons.
SB130 states "Whereas, the tenth amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees and reserves for the states all powers not granted to the federal government in the Constitution, and reserves to the state and people of Indiana certain powers as they were understood at the time that Indiana was admitted to statehood in 1816."
Indiana isn't the first to address firearms, as eight other states have already passed firearms freedom acts. They include Alaska, South Dakota, Arizona, Idaho, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming.
Some legislative analysts expect SB130 to remain in committee and never actually make it to the full legislature.
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