The Conservative answer has been a numerous legislative efforts, not to work with what, at this point, is an overwhelming public desire to strengthen gun laws. Instead state legislators the country over are busy trying to pass bills that would, in some cases, nullifying federal gun laws. In other cases, states have attempted to pass legislation that would actually criminalize the enforcement of federal gun laws. A conservative group called The Tenth Amendment Center has available on their website a generalized "2nd Amendment Protection Act", ready for legislators to use as their blank slate to "protect" themselves from federal gun laws.
|Rep. Daryl Metcalfe|
What exactly would HB 357 seek to do? It's essentially a carbon copy of all the other federal law-banning legislation out there. The bill would provide that "any Federal law attempting to register, restrict or ban a firearm or limit the size of a magazine of a firearm in this Commonwealth shall be unenforceable in this Commonwealth." And of course it provides for penalties. In fact, it provides that any federal agent attempting to enforce a Federal gun law passed after December 31, 2012 will be committing a third degree felony and, if convicted of such, would be subject to imprisonment for up to one year. Does anyone else see a problem with threatening to imprison Federal officers in the course of their duties?
But what about the innocent gun-law-violator who is also lucky enough to be a resident of the Commonwealth? Well, they're in luck! If a person violates a gun law passed after December 31, 2012, once HB 357 is passed, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania would be empowered to defend that person against Federal charges. If you're rolling your eyes right now, know that you are not alone.
It is my hope that this legislation would go absolutely nowhere, but I will certainly be keeping an close eye on this bill to see where it goes. If you're interested in checking out what's happening in the General Assembly and State Senate, I suggest you check out the website, Legiscan. It's a great resource.