According to Eric Holder, the attorney general for the United States, the U.S. Constitution doesn’t mean what it says it means and does not enumerate the rights it very clearly does enumerate.
Holder, in a letter to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback dated April 26 of this year, said a new law in that state which prevents federal agents from enforcing federal gun laws there is simply unconstitutional.
“In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, [the law] directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional,” Holder wrote. “Federal officers who are responsible for enforcing federal laws and regulations in order to maintain public safety cannot be forced to choose between the risk of a criminal prosecution by a state and the continued performance of their federal duties.”
The attorney general – whose office is responsible for running guns to Mexican drug lords and for failing to enforce the federal Defense of Marriage Act, among other things – was responding to the state’s Second Amendment Protection Act, which aims to prevent any law enforcement official from enforcing any federal law or regulation governing any firearm, accessory or ammunition “manufactured commercially or privately and owned in Kansas, provided it remains within the borders of Kansas.”
‘Our agents will continue to execute their duties’
In addition, The Washington Times reported, the law “also exempts any firearm of the same description from federal regulation and allows state officials to enjoin agents from enforcing federal gun laws regarding firearms owned in the state.”
Holder, in his letter, cited the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, a principle written into Article VI, Sect. 2 of the Constitution, which says, in part, that “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme law of the land.” The Kansas law became effective April 25.
Holder said federal authorities “will continue to execute their duties to enforce all federal firearms laws and regulations. Moreover, the United States will take all appropriate action, including litigation if necessary, to prevent the State of Kansas from interfering with the activities of federal officials enforcing federal law.”
Brownback replied to Holder in writing May 2 to lay out his state’s position.
‘Not a partisan issue in Kansas’
“The right to keep and bear arms is a right that Kansans hold dear,” Brownback wrote. “It is a right enshrined not only in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also protected by the Kansas Bill of Rights.
“The people of Kansas have repeatedly and overwhelmingly reaffirmed their commitment to protecting this fundamental right. The people of Kansas are likewise committed to defending the sovereignty of the State of Kansas as guaranteed in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” he continued, citing amendments which permit states and the people to retain rights not specifically addressed in the nation’s founding document.
Brownback also said that the measure was passed on a wide and bipartisan vote in both the Kansas House and Senate (96-24 and 35-4 respectively), and that the Democratic minority leaders in both chambers supported the legislation as well.
“This is not a partisan issue in Kansas,” said Brownback. “The people of Kansas have clearly expressed their sovereign will. It is my hope that upon further review, you will see their right to do so.”
Other states have proposed similar laws in the wake of consideration of new federal gun control measures in Congress earlier this year. President Obama and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate made the enactment of new gun control measures such as a renewed ban on military look-alike, semi-automatic rifles and universal background checks – all of which were eventually rejected by a majority in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Proponents say similar measures may be brought up again later this year.
We are continually amazed at how this administration selectively enforces or observes federal laws and constitutional provisions.
Sources for this article include: