Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Introduces Federal 2A Sanctuary Bill

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The Second Amendment Sanctuary movement was born in a rural county in Illinois, but it’s now spread to the halls of Congress, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introducing legislation that she’s calling the “Second Amendment Preservation Act.” The bill, if enacted (which, it has to be noted, isn’t going to happen), would bar any federal funding in fiscal year 2021 for the implementation, enforcement, or advancement of any “measure, law, regulation, or guidance relating to the lawful use, purchase, sale, possession, or transportation of firearms by any citizen of the United States.”

Additionally, the bill would prohibit any federal funds from being used to enforce or implement regulations or guidance issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives that were finalized after November 1, 2020 during the current fiscal year.

Given the fact that this bill is going nowhere with Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House, I suspect the intent of the legislation is to fundraise off of it and to aid in Greene’s brand as a Second Amendment stalwart. Honestly though, even as a purely symbolic resolution the legislation seems kind of goofy to me.

The Second Amendment Preservation Acts that we’ve seen introduced around the country are fundamentally Tenth Amendment arguments federal gun control legislation. This is basically a budget rider declaring that no new federal gun control laws will be funded for a year. It would be more in the spirit of the Second Amendment Preservation bills introduced in the states to author a resolution recognizing the Printz decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that non-federal law enforcement agencies are under no obligation to enforce federal law, though neither can they actively impede the enforcement of those laws by federal officials.

But since we’re dealing with legislation that has no chance of success, why not go even bigger? Marjorie Taylor Greene says she wants to be the most pro-gun person in Congress. If that’s what you’re going for, why not introduce a bill to get rid of the BATFE entirely or repeal the National Firearms Act? Or, if you want to tap in to the political popularity of cutting checks to the American people, how about the Second Amendment Stimulus Act; a $2,000 tax credit to every American for the purchase of self-defense firearms and ammunition.

Given the rise in crime in many Democrat-controlled cities and the lengthy delays in processing concealed carry applications in many of those same locales, that last might even prove to be more popular than you’d expect in deep-blue parts of the country who are seeing the effects of “reimagining policing” play out on their streets on a daily basis.

Greene’s bill, on the other hand, is simply playing to her base of support, and fairly ham-handedly at that.

“Our God-given right to protect our country, ourselves, and our families shouldn’t be up for debate. I’m proud to introduce this legislation, endorsed by the American Firearms Association, that will defund the enforcement of tyrannical gun control laws,” she said.

Keep in mind that Greene doesn’t know what, specifically, her bill would defund, because no new gun control has passed yet. Is her position that any new gun control law would be tyrannical, but none of the existing federal gun laws that are on the books and are untouched by her legislation are not?

If that’s not the case, then why is she okay with funding the tyrannical gun laws that are currently on the books? Again, why not simply write a bill that would repeal every federal gun law that she finds objectionable? The chance of passage would be the same regardless: zero percent.

I know that Majorie Taylor Greene has her fans, but I’m not one of them. Even beyond her deep dive into the fringiest of theories about Parkland, Sandy Hook, and 9/11, I just find her schtick to be stale. I’m supposed to be her target audience; a conservative, rural, Second Amendment activist (and a white guy post-40 with a beard and a belly, if you want to get really stereotypical); but I don’t see how what she’s doing is actually advancing the cause of the Second Amendment at all.

The role of the majority in Congress is to pass legislation. The role of the minority in Congress is not to grandstand and fundraise, but to try to mitigate the damage of the majority. Greene has marginalized herself to an amazing degree, not only through the Democrats’ vote to remove her from her committee assignments but by the very nature of her brand. She’s a “fighter,” not someone who’s going develop the relationships with colleagues that would allow her to work behind the scenes to make bad bills slightly less awful.

Now I recognize that in the toxic political environment that we’re currently swimming in, those congenial inter-party relationships are genuinely hard to find, and the idea of mitigating the legislative damage of the Democrats may be as fanciful as thinking that Greene’s bill would ever be signed by Joe Biden.

I also understand that we do need our fighters, but to me, Marjorie Taylor Greene seems to punch herself in the face about as often as she lands blows against The Squad and Nancy Pelosi. In my opinion, the most pro-gun member of Congress has to be graded on their effectiveness in addition to their stance on any particular piece of legislation, where it’s pro-gun control or pro-Second Amendment.

As a legislative minority, one of the best opportunities to persuade the American people, if not the Democrats in control of Congress, is through the floor debate. That, however, requires talking to those undecideds and persuadables who might be watching, not playing to the base. I’m not convinced that Marjorie Taylor Greene is even interested in that, much less that she could pull it off, but I would be happy to be wrong in my judgement when the day comes that she takes to the House floor in objection to Joe Biden’s gun ban.


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