Are Federal Gun Control Laws the Highest Laws in the Land?
Ada County, Idaho Sheriff Gary Raney says that he doesn’t agree with a lot of federal gun control laws, but says that it’s his job to uphold them anyway, because it’s the “supreme” law of the land. What’s more troubling is that Idaho just passed a law that prohibited officials like sheriffs and their deputies from enforcing federal gun control laws.
We’ve seen on multiple occasions sheriffs and police officers vowing not to enforce federal gun control laws on the basis of their being violations of the 2nd Amendment. We’ve even heard officers say that they won’t enforce state laws that are violations of the 2nd Amendment. But here, we have the president of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association (ISA) saying that despite his state law and despite his personal opinion, he will uphold federal gun control laws.
Writing for ShallNot.org, TJ Martinell reported:
Earlier this year the Idaho state Legislature unanimously passed the Idaho Federal Firearm, Magazine and Register Ban Enforcement Act, which makes it a misdemeanor for a state law enforcement officer to enforce new federal firearms restrictions.
Fortunately, the majority of the ISA seems to understand this, as nearly all of Idaho’s 44 county sheriffs have voiced their support for the law.
In a Jan. 25 2013 op-ed column for the Idaho Statesman, Raney acknowledged people’s right to keep and bear arms as articulated in the Second Amendment, yet went on to say that somehow the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution requires states to enforce federal laws, even if they violate those rights.
“So, despite the fact that I personally oppose some of the gun control measures currently under consideration, my oath requires me to uphold the laws that are passed by our federal and state representatives,” he wrote.
His oath is to the Constitution, not to the feds. Liberals use the same argument when declaring their support for Obamacare and their opposition to states trying to nullify it. It’s the “law of the land.” The feds have said so. So, every state must comply, or else.
The so-called “supremacy clause” is taken from Article VI of the Constitution. It reads:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.” [Emphasis mine]
The key phrase is “…which shall be made in pursuance thereof…” Made in pursuance of what? The Constitution. So what if a law is not made in pursuance of the Constitution, regardless of what judges have opined? Then, the law should be considered null and void.
Any federal law restricting or regulating the 2nd Amendment is unconstitutional, because the Constitution does not grant the feds any such authority. If the federal government is enacting laws in direct opposition to what the Constitution says, they’re the ones in violation. They’re the ones that are unconstitutional. Since the Constitution doesn’t grant these authorities to the feds, the states are sovereign. Gary Raney should stand with the rest of his fellow sheriffs and refuse to enforce federal gun control laws.