A line was drawn in the sand last week – a response by the Federal Government to the State of Tennessee and their assertion of sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.
(Editor’s note: A similar response was sent to Montana Firearms licenses on 07-16-09 as well)
Part of a series of moves by states seeking to utilize the Tenth Amendment as a limit on Federal Power, the Tennessee State Senate approved Senate Bill 1610 (SB1610), the Tennesse Firearms Freedom Act, by a vote of 22-7. The House companion bill, HB1796 previously passed the House by a vote of 87-1.
Governor Breseden allowed the bill to become law without signing.
The law states that “federal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in Tennessee and remains in Tennessee. The limitation on federal law and regulation stated in this bill applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured using basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported into this state.”
At the time of passage through the TN House and Senate, Judiciary Chairman Mae Beavers had this to say-
“Be it the federal government mandating changes in order for states to receive federal funds or the federal government telling us how to regulate commerce contained completely within this state – enough is enough. Our founders fought too hard to ensure states’ sovereignty and I am sick and tired of activist federal officials and judges sticking their noses where they don’t belong.”
The Federal Government, by way of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms expressed its own view of the Tenth Amendment this week when it issued an open letter to ‘all Tennessee Federal Firearms Licensees’ in which it denounced the opinion of Beavers and the Tennessee legislature. ATF assistant director Carson W. Carroll wrote that ‘Federal law supersedes the Act’, and thus the ATF considers it meaningless.
Read the rest, including the ATF’s letter to Tennessee’s Federal Firearms Licensees here.