The legislative history of Idaho’s Senate Bill 1332 can be briskly told; its enactment was swift indeed. The Federal Firearm, Magazine and Register Ban Enforcement Act was
- introduced on the tenth of February;
- unanimously approved by the full Senate nine days later;
- leapt out of House committee, on March 10, with a Do Pass recommendation;
- read in full in the House two days later, and
- passed unanimously; whereupon it
- went to the governor, who signed it into law March 19.
Because of an emergency clause, SB-1332 went into full effect on that date.
The new law instructs Idaho’s public servants not to co-operate with the federal government on any future gun and ammo registration, prohibition or regulation passed by the U.S. Congress. It also provides a civil penalty of a maximum $1000 fine for each instance of co-operation.
It’s part of the low-key rebellion that many state legislatures and governors are waging against the federal government. Claiming something like a right to nullify unconstitutional laws — a right enumerated, after all, as the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution — at issue is the usurpation of state prerogatives by the feds.
We’ve seen a number of states resist the federal government’s attempt to “organize” a grand (and catastrophic) public-private alliance known as Obamacare.
The current Idaho effort doesn’t strike me as pure nullification, however. It relies on a proven principle of federalism: the states may not be commandeered to enforce federal law. Specifically, any future federal law attacking our essential Second Amendment rights.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.