TX LEGAL EDGE

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League City Voted Yes to Refuse to Enforce Federal Gun Laws

Trisha Barita February 13, 2013

While Obama gave his State of the Union Address last night highlighting his stance on gun control, I witnessed a very different stance on gun control at a Council meeting in League City, Texas.  I was there to deal with a contract matter before the council, but did witness a room full of supporters for City Councilwoman Heidi Thiess’s resolution to affirm the consitutional right of city residents to keep and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment.  The resolution passed with very little resistance and overwhelming and emotional speeches by various members of the community and the Council members.

 The teeth of the resolution is in Section 3 in these words specifically, “That all agencies of the City of League City are instructed to refuse requests or directives by federal agencies acting under unconstitutional powers enumerated in Section 2 above that would infringe upon our residents’ second, ninth, and tenth amendment rights, or other inalienable rights not here explicitly enumerated.”

A copy of the proposed resolution can be viewed in whole on Councilwoman Heidi Thiess’s webpage.

It was mentioned that this might bring a lawsuit with added cost to the community and several members of the community shouted out during the meeting that they welcome it.  I am guessing they do welcome it because Section 5 of the Resolution states, “That copies of this Resolution be immediately transmitted to Barack Obama, President of the United States; the President of the United States Senate; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; each member of Congress from the State of Texas; John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; each justice on the United States Supreme Court; Greg Abbott, the Attorney General of the State of Texas; the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Texas’ legislature; each individual legislator that represents our district in the State of Texas; and the Sheriff of Galveston County.”

As I came home and flipped on the TV, Obama had just finished his State of the Union Speech and was shaking hands and signing autographs on his way off the House floor.  I thought to myself, I wonder how many other cities have done what League City did tonight and will it make the difference they intend it to make?  The legal issues in the enforcement of gun control laws are going to get alot more tricky if the feds are not supported by the local state, county and city law enforcement.  Although California state law enforcement appeared to turn a blind eye to the small time marijuana grower who violated federal law, I imagine that the federal government will not see a resolution to not follow federal gun laws in the same light.

 

 

  • Charles Beel

    I applaud the Council for asserting their rights, though the Supremacy clause makes it toothless for now. The real point of doing this is to sue up to the Supreme Court and if the Council is serious, they are in for a protracted multi-year multi-million dollar battle before the SCOTUS could even get a chance to review it. Correct me if I’m wrong on any of that, it is just my understanding of the nature of this sort of resolution.

    • texaslegaledge

      Charles – Thanks for the comment! You are right that the
      opposition to what League City Council has passed will likely argue that the
      Supremacy Clause allows federal law to trump state laws that are in conflict
      with the federal law. In the Supremacy Clause, it states the following:

      This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall
      be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made,
      under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land;
      and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the
      constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding. Article VI,
      Clause 2, Constitution of the United States.

      It is commonly interpreted that the words “This Constitution,
      and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof”
      require that the federal laws be in pursuance of the Constitution in order for
      the Federal Law to reign supreme. So therefore, as with the balance of powers,
      Congress is not given a blank check to write any laws it wants. So the argument
      could be made that whatever federal gun laws that are passed by Congress are
      not in pursuance of the Constitution and the rights it affords and thereby
      making it not “supreme” to state gun laws.

      You are also likely right that the Supreme Court will be the
      balance of power to check Congress on whether any federal laws on gun control
      are pursuant to the Constitution. It can be a long and expensive battle to the
      Supreme Court of the United States, but it is our nation’s history for people
      to find the cause worthy enough for such a battle when their freedoms are
      challenged.

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