William Kennedy
January 20, 2014

Georgia Representative Tom Kerby and five cosponsors have introduced a bill to block the implementation of federal gun-control measures within the state.

House Bill 732 (HB732) prohibits all state public servants and gun dealers from enforcing federal gun laws.

No public servant or dealer selling any firearm in this state shall enforce or attempt to enforce any federal act, law, statute, rule, or regulation relating to a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition that is sold, owned, or manufactured commercially or privately in Georgia and that remains exclusively within the borders of this state.

Based on a principle with over 170 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence, HB732 stands on strong legal grounds.

Under the anti-commandeering doctrine, the federal government holds no power to require a state to help carry out federal acts or regulatory programs.  As Georgetown Law Professor Randy Barnett recently told National Journal, “State governments are free to refrain from cooperating with federal authorities if they so choose.”

The Supreme Court has upheld this doctrine repeatedly from 1842 to 2012. “There is absolutely no serious discussion opposing anti-commandeering,” said Mike Maharrey, national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center. “On top of it, this is just what James Madison advised the people and states to do if they wanted to thwart federal acts.”

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