McClellan: Arizona lawmakers on ‘nullification’ track - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

McClellan: Arizona lawmakers on ‘nullification’ track

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Mike McClellan is a Gilbert resident and former English teacher at Dobson High School in Mesa.

Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 8:47 am | Updated: 5:27 pm, Tue Jun 18, 2013.

So let’s look at Arizona’s reaction to the gun control controversy.

Sponsored by the reliably “different” Republican Representative Steve Smith (Maricopa) along with Gilbert Tea Party reps Kelly Townsend and Warren Petersen, not to mention a handful of other characters, SB 1112 “prohibits public servants and federally licensed firearms dealers from enforcing any U.S. government act, law, statute, rule or regulation.”

But it goes beyond that, to apply to gun sellers: “Prohibits public servants and federally licensed dealers who sell firearms in this state from enforcing or attempting to enforce any act, law, statute, rule or regulation of the U.S. government relating to a personal firearm, accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in this state and that remains exclusively within Arizona’s borders.”

Which means?

If the bill were actually put into law, it would mean that any gun regulation passed after this month would be a no-go in good old Arizona. And if some poor federal law enforcement official actually tried to carry out the new law, it’s off to the Arizona hoosegow for him. For a year. For enforcing a law. Even if the law were designed to keep guns out from the mentally ill.

The sponsors of this, er, legislation have all kinds of doomsday scenarios running through their heads, mostly centering on evil federal agents coming for their weapons or ammunition. Which is interesting, given that the most “radical” legislation proposed, that by Sen. Diane Feinstein, includes a “grandfather” clause that allows current gun owners to keep their weapons and ammunition.

In other words, no one’s coming for their guns.

No matter. Our intrepid legislators expect that our county sheriffs will arrest these federal law enforcers/lawbreakers.

So if I understand this correctly...

If this bill becomes law, and...

The Senate and House pass a gun regulation.

And the President signs it into law.

And no resulting lawsuit takes place to challenge the law’s constitutionality.

The law is then to be enforced.

Except in Arizona, where a constitutional law will be defied.

And if it’s followed, the one enforcing the constitutional law goes to jail.

Which puts anyone following the new Arizona law in violation of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause in Article VI.

Which means the Arizona legislators are requiring Arizona judges and law enforcement to act in an unconstitutional manner.

Of course.

The incredible irony of all this silliness is found in the sponsors of this piece of dreck. All of the sponsors of SB 1112 think of themselves as experts in the American constitution, that they carefully follow the laws of the land.

Except something called the Supremacy Clause of our Constitution.

Which says?

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance therof; 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, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

We’ve seen efforts like those by Smith, Townsend, Petersen and the others before.

It’s called “nullification.” And it was a principle behind the South seceding from the Union. In Arizona, it seems, the war isn’t over.

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