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Kansas can’t opt out of federal gun laws, Brady Center suit says

Posted Jul 10, 2014 7:57 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is challenging a Kansas law dubbed the Second Amendment Protection Act.

The Kansas law says guns made and possessed in the state are exempt from federal gun regulations. The Brady Center claimed in a suit filed on Wednesday that the law violates the supremacy clause, according to a press release. The Topeka-Capital Journal and the Wichita Eagle have coverage.

Jonathan Lowy, director of the Brady Center's Legal Action Project, said in the press release that the law is bad public policy and “patently unconstitutional.”

“Just as Southern states were not allowed to opt-out of federal civil rights laws, the Constitution does not allow Kansas or any other state to nullify federal gun laws that protect Kansans and all Americans from gun violence,” Lowy said.

The Kansas law, if enforced, could bar federal background checks and allow unlicensed manufacturing of guns in Kansas, including guns designed to avoid metal detectors, according to the Brady Center. The law says any federal official who attempts to enforce federal regulations for guns made and possessed in the state can be charged with a felony.

Morrison & Foerster partner Stuart Plunkett is co-counsel with the Brady Center in the lawsuit, filed in Kansas federal court.

Alaska, Montana and Idaho have passed similar laws, according to the Capital-Journal. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Montana law last year.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Sovereignty showdown: Kansas plans to defend law shielding state guns from US regulation"

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