ABA Journal


Constitutional Law

Sovereignty showdown: Kansas plans to defend law shielding state guns from US regulation

May 3, 2013, 06:29 pm CDT


Two observations: first, doesn't the AG have salaried attorneys working for him that could handle the litigation?
Second, we had a war about this down here a while back. It didn't turn out well.

By JimB on 2013 05 03, 7:46 pm CDT

The gun rights bills in states are the biggest waste of time and money.

By John on 2013 05 03, 8:27 pm CDT

So, did Kansas adopt its own version of the federal provision against unlicensed manufacture, or can Kansas residents avail themselves of this law to start slapping together untraceable zip guns for the local market? I mean, assuming they are willing to take some step to evidence Kansas origin, such as stamping "Made in Kansas" on the pipes they cut for the barrels.

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 03, 10:49 pm CDT

Eric Holder's "supremacy clause" is legitimate. I don't think any state can grant itself privilege on one legal matter, while conforming to other legal matters which conform to the relationship between a state and federal government, Why does Oklahoma think that it has a legal right that other states don't.

By Charles Roth on 2013 05 04, 1:20 am CDT

The underlying theory here must be that if states can tightly confine an activity within their borders, the Commerce Clause does not enable federal involvement. It seems to me that states taking this approach may have some really old law books they are consulting.

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 04, 2:25 pm CDT

Somebody forget that the United States is a single indivisible nation? Can Kansas argue that all guns and ammunition owned, manufactured and sold in Kansas remain in Kansas? I don't think so. Fifty years ago some states tried to make a similar argument re: segragation laws and attempted to obstruct federal officers enforcment of civil rights laws. This is cut from the same cloth. Heller specifically upheld Miller's holding that the National Firearms Act's banning of machine guns and sawed off shotguns was Constitutional. Any federal act which is upheld by the courts is enforceable in any state under the Supremacy Clause, whether they like it or not.

By George Sly on 2013 05 05, 4:17 pm CDT

Not one Kansas legislator voting for this bill seriously believes it will survive a constitutional challenge in any federal court. But they do want to be able to tout their ridiculous stance to the gun enthusiasts in their districts during the next election cycle. (I do not call them "conservatives," as a true conservative would support ALL of the US Constitution, Supremacy Clause included, and not just the Second Amendment.)

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 05 05, 6:53 pm CDT

Based on the press accounts of the Kansas tax plan, I think those legislators might actually believe just about anything.

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 05, 8:25 pm CDT

I recommend reading "What's the Matter with Kansas?" by Thomas Frank.

By faddking on 2013 05 06, 1:07 am CDT

Didn't we settle this issue back in 1865?

By NoleLaw on 2013 05 06, 12:06 pm CDT

Kansan here. This is pure political theater. Brownback's been posturing for a run for a national office for YEARS and this legislation is more of an effort to get himself national recognition than anything else. The propagation of this notion of "the gov't wants to take your guns away!" is sheer hysteria and fear mongering, which is, sadly, the kind of thing that gets a politician noticed on a national level. Making sure teachers who spent 45 years in the classroom can retire with their pension intact is NOT a thing that gets you national attention. I feel like that attention seeking been Brownback's primary motivation for a long, long time. A balanced budget certainly hasn't been his driving motivator, that's for sure.

By SRC on 2013 05 06, 4:48 pm CDT

I guess the schools are so busy eradicating reality -- e.g. teaching creationism -- that the governor and top officials never learned who won the Civil War and why and that the Constitution has more than 12 Amendments.

By JR on 2013 05 06, 7:07 pm CDT

No. 11, doesn't your man realize that when he steps outside the borders of Kansas, people will only laugh at him? How can he possibly think all this is going to set him up for any kind of serious national campaign?

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 07, 12:01 am CDT

SRC @ 11: I figured as much when I saw the name "Brownback." He IS what's the matter with Kansas.

McLeod @ 13: Shhhh! Don't discourage him! Some struggling CA attorneys supplement their incomes selling those hand-silk-screened Jesus-on-a-dinosaur t-shirts!

By BMF on 2013 05 07, 3:51 am CDT

There was a musical group named "Kansas" once. I understand they played everything in C Flat and B Flat.

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 07, 5:58 am CDT

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