June 15, 2009
Governor Phil Bredesen will not stand in the way of House Bill 1796. He will allow it to pass without his signature.
Bredesen, in a letter to Speaker Kent Williams, states that the bill which says that federal laws do not apply to firearms, accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in Tennessee, will likely be found to be unconstitutional.
“This bill is not about firearms. It is about a fringe constitutional theory that I believe will be quickly dispensed with by the federal courts.
The Tennessee General Assembly lacks the Constitutional authority to limit the power and authority of federal government in this way…
…While I share the General Assembly’s commitment to federalism, this legislation contravenes our Constitution. I am allowing it to become law so that it can quickly be dealt with by the federal courts.”
Excuse me? What exactly is our governor saying here? I believe in federalism — except when the states really try to take real power back? I believe in federalism — but not for things like this?
What is unconstitutional about this? If a gun is made here and kept here what the heck business of the federal government is it? If Tennessee wants to make its own laws on firearms why is that bad and how is it unconstitutional?