The Obama administration's gun ban initiative met stiff resistance in the Wyoming state legislature on Friday. On Jan. 11, eight house representatives and two state senators submitted house bill HB0104 that would make it illegal for federal agents to arrest Wyoming residents who possess hardware such as semi-automatic rifles and related weapons accessories.
Here's the complete list of Barack Obama's 23 executive actions on gun control.
According to the pending legislation, any agent or employee of the United States government "who enforces . . . any act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation . . . upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming" shall be guilty of a felony and be imprisoned for up to five years as well as face fines up to $5,000.
If the bill gets sufficient votes in both houses, it could be signed into state law by Wyoming governor Matt Mead, a 50-year-old Republican who is a staunch supporter of gun ownership and the hunting lobby.
HB0104 reads as follows:
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; providing a penalty.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), which boasts over four million members, has advocated posting armed guards within school premises in response to last month's Sandy Hook school shootings. While the NRA advocates the Second Amendment of the U.S. constitution which protects the rights of citizens to bear arms, the state of Wyoming seems to be also flexing its muscles on the Tenth Amendment, which holds that the federal government is one of enumerated (i.e., limited) powers.
The Tenth Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on Dec. 1791 and states 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". In 2012, Montana proposed similar legislation aimed at protecting its citizens' rights (as well as hunters' rights) to possess firearms.
So what's the disconnect between America's heartland with D.C. lawmakers and urban think-tanks? In red states such as Texas, Wyoming, and Montana, firearms are viewed as a means for self-defense and hunting. However, many urban citizens view weapons as an offensive tool for criminals and drug-dealing thugs.
Indeed, metro voters rely on police protection whereas residents of states such as Wyoming often live in farms or ranches that are located several miles away from the nearest sheriff's office. Such a rural setting makes it imperative to own a gun for the purposes of protecting one's family and property.
The pro-gun lobby has been concerned that the Obama White House and its Democratic allies in congress may over-react to the Sandy school shootings and therefore pass a series of strict laws that are unconstitutional.
Since last month's shootings, the NRA claims that its organization has added over 100,000 new members. That's a staggering number considering that the state of Wyoming has a population of only about 568,000 according to a 2011 census.
It is interesting to note that there has been increasing high-profile differences between state law and federal statutes. Last year, the states of Colorado and Washington passed laws that allow for the legal (and recreational) use of marijuana despite the use of pot technically being illegal in the eyes of federal law.
What's your take? Share your comments below.
Share your comments below.
Recent by Marv Dumon
- 1996 records: Obama supported banning all guns in Illinois
- Complete list of Obama's 23 executive actions on gun control
- White House removes Obama birther petition from website
- Obama sent $40 million to foreign labor after re-election
- Obama's gun ban to affect 80 percent of U.S. firearms
- Wyoming drafts bill criminalizing enforcement of federal gun ban
- Did John Brennan remove birther evidence from Obama's passport?
- Supreme Court to hear case on Obama's alleged forged documents
- Jenna Bush Hager expecting first child
- Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf: 14 rules of leadership
- Ranking the top 5 business shows on television
- Pet chicken saves Wisconsin couple from house fire
- Pope Benedict XVI makes official debut on Twitter