A bill known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act is continuing on its way through the Utah Legislature today. HB 114 (Substitute), sponsored by Representative Brian M. Greene-R, Pleasant Grove would make any enforcement of certain federal gun control laws in the State of Utah a third degree felony. It also protects any state law enforcement officer from prosecution by the federal government for not enforcing those laws. It was amended in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and will be discussed by the committee on Friday (today).
Greene’s bill proposes that the right to regulate firearms is a soverign right of the states, not the federal government. Utah police would be empowered to arrest federal agents that tried impose the law. Greene said, “Laws from the federal government that restrict upon those rights will not be recognized here in Utah, and that our public officials in Utah should not and may not enforce those laws.”
Clark Aposhian of the Utah Shooting Sports Council said Wednesday, “I do not feel it’s extreme any more than a sheriff or police officer arresting a person for a crime. This just happens to be in violation of the Constitution.”
It is doubtful such legislation would stand in court as the proposed law violates the Sixth Article of the US Constitution which makes federal law “the Supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby.” The Second Amendment, which gives people the right to “keep and bear arms”, does not provide citizens with unlimited access to firearms.
HB114 is in reaction to President Barack Obama’s position on possible changes in federal gun control laws following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary last December that killed 20 children and six adults. The President has asked Congress for a vote on bills banning assault rifles, limiting multiple shot magazines, and requiring background checks for all firearm purchases. The President has not proposed the removal of guns from gun owners.
According to his information page on the Utah Legislature website, Greene is a member of the Tenth Amendment Center. This is a group that believes “The Constitution. Every issue, Every time. No exceptions, No excuses.” He has been a legislator since January 1 of this year.
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Source: Utah Legislature, Tenth Amendment Center, US Constitution, Ogden Standard Examiner, ABC4 News, FOX13 News