There’ve been two trends in pro-gun legislation this year: Constitutional Carry and Second Amendment Sanctuaries. When it comes to bearing arms, we’ve seen four states, including Tennessee, adopt permitless carry legislation, and now the Volunteer State could soon join the ranks of the states adopting Second Amendment Sanctuary language as well.
Senate Bill 1335, which cleared the state Senate last week, has now been approved by the Tennessee House of Representatives as well, and is on its way to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk. Believe it or not, the bill even garnered the support of a few Democrats as well as most Republicans.
“Contrary to the messaging that’s out there, Democrats are not for taking your guns away from you,” Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, said while supporting the bill. “So let’s end that bad messaging that y’all are putting out there about us.”
As much as I appreciate Parkinson’s support for the legislation, he’s kidding himself if he thinks that there are no members of his party who are all in favor of taking guns from people. Joe Biden himself supports requiring all legal owners of AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles to either hand their guns over to the government or registering their guns under the National Firearms Act with the empty promise that they’ll be able to keep them going forward once the government knows exactly where they are.
Parkinson himself, on the other hand, actually wanted to see a provision in the Second Amendment Sanctuary bill that would have prohibited “gun buybacks”, or compensated confiscation programs, calling the programs “exploitation of poor people.”
I could get behind that amendment, and it’s disappointing that it wasn’t adopted. Meanwhile, Parkinson also says that, in his opinion, the legislation is mostly symbolic.
“I do support it I’m a pro-gun Democrat but look here’s the reality of the legislation if the feds come down with something a ruling or some law it doesn’t matter what we pass in the state of Tennessee because federal law supersedes state law,” said State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, Memphis (D).
While Parkinson said he backs the bill – he believes those who are unfit to carry a firearm shouldn’t be able to.
“We are pro common sense guns,” said the Memphis democrat. “We want everyone to be able to continue to have the right to bear arms but those that should not bear arms like those that have been deemed mentally unfit should not be in possession of firearms.”
The good news for Parkinson is that the bill doesn’t change or attempt to nullify any existing federal gun control law, including the prohibition on those who’ve been adjudicated as mentally defective from owning a firearm.
However, Parkinson is wrong if he thinks the legislation is mere symbolism. The bill itself says that “a treaty, executive order, rule, or regulation of the U.S. government that violates the federal second amendment as null, void, and unenforceable in this state and prohibits the state and political subdivisions from using public resources to enforce, administer, or cooperate with the enforcement or administration of any such treaty, executive order, rule, or regulation.”
Any attempt to outright nullify a federal gun control law is likely to be met with a legal challenge on the part of the federal government, but the language forbidding state and political subdivisions from using public resources to “enforce, administer, or cooperate” with the federal enforcement of any new gun control measures is on strong legal ground.
This bill would be a great step forward, not only for the people of Tennessee but for gun owners around the country, because it sends a message to Democrats in Washington, D.C. that we the people aren’t interested in forfeiting our Second Amendment rights just because Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer say that it’s “reasonable” for us to do so.
Gov. Bill Lee has already helped make Tennessee become a Constitutional Carry state this year. Let’s hope he puts pen to paper and turns the Volunteer State into a Second Amendment Sanctuary as well.