A bill filed in Minnesota Thursday would effectively thwart virtually all federal gun control measures on the books, past, present and future.
SF28, the Second Amendment Preservation Act, was filed by Sen. Branden Peterson. If passed, it would prohibit all state and local law enforcement from enforcing or providing material support to the enforcement of “any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation that relates to a personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition within the limits of this state.”
Such a tactic is an extremely effective way to stop a federal government busting at the seams. Even the National Governors Association admitted this recently when it sent out a press release noting that “States are partners with the federal government in implementing most federal programs.” That means states can create impediments to enforcing and implementing “most federal programs,” including those which impose upon the right to keep and bear arms.
James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” advised this strategy specifically. In Federalist 46 he outlined several steps that states can take to effective stop “an unwarrantable measure,” or “even a warrantable measure” of the federal government. Anticipating the anti-commandeering doctrine, Madison called for “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” as a method of resistance.
Judge Andrew Napolitano last year urged states to introduce and pass this type of legislation, saying that a single state passing such a law would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible to enforce.”
This legislation rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. Simply put, the federal government cannot “commandeer” or coerce states into implementing or enforcing federal acts or regulations – constitutional or not. The anti-commandeering doctrine rests primarily on four Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. The 1997 case, Printz v. US, serves as the modern day cornerstone.