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TN bill looks to stop any future federal gun ban

11:51 PM, Feb 3, 2013   |    comments
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A new piece of legislation is looking to limit the federal government's power to regulate firearms in the state of Tennessee.

State Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, and State Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia proposed legislation in both chambers that would prohibit the federal government from imposing taxes on firearms, banning firearms and tracking firearms in Tennessee. The legislation amends the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act of 2009. That legislation prohibited the federal government from regulating firearms that were made in Tennessee and held the brand "Made in Tennessee".

More Information: Read both the House and Senate legislation

The new legislation, if enacted, would apply to all guns.

Beavers sponsored the 2009 legislation. She said it was the first of its kind in the United States.

She said she wrote the new amendment to address fears amongst gun owners the federal government may one day take away certain firearms.

"This is just our response to amend a law that's already on the books to say that if any federal official or if anybody tries to take away our guns, we will protect our state sovereignty," Beavers said.

Under the new legislation, people who enforce federal laws regulating guns in Tennessee would also be punished.

"We have made it a Class B felony if any federal employee tries to confiscate guns in this state," Beavers said.

Maryville Gun Owner Tony King said he supports any legislation that helps gun owners in the state.

"The bill they're trying to work with in the senate, I'm all for it," he said.

But, Akram Faizer, an Assistant Professor of Law at Lincoln Memorial University's Duncan School of Law, said the bill has numerous constitutional shortcomings.

"The law is also unconstitutional because it seeks to criminalize federal officials trying to enforce federal law in the state of Tennessee," he said.

Faizer also said it directly contradicts Article 6 Section 2 of the United States Constitution.

"Article 6 Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution specifically states that U.S. law, when it in conflict with the law of a individual state, is supreme," he said.

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