Arkansas Legislature Passes "Gun Sovereignty" Bill At Last Minute

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

A lot of states are trying to pass sanctuary bills. They sometimes run into hiccups, but few can be said to scramble to get it passed like Arkansas, which passed its “gun sovereignty” bill at the eleventh hour last night.

In the last moments of the 2021 Arkansas General Legislative Session, which ended early Tuesday after 1 a.m., the legislature managed to pass a bill that bans police from enforcing some federal gun laws, but addresses problems previously brought up on a similar bill that was vetoed by the governor.

House Bill 1957, filed late Monday night, made its way through the legislature in fewer than 28 hours through a series of committee meetings, recesses and votes.

The legislation would ban all state and local law enforcement officers from enforcing any federal gun laws that conflict with the right to bear arms as outlined in both the U.S. and Arkansas Constitution. Those include any laws requiring registration, tracking or banning possession of firearms. The bill is nearly identical to Senate Bill 298, which Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed on Friday.

However, in presenting the bill to the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee,  Rep. Jeff Wardlaw, R-Hermitage, said the exceptions and changes added in this bill address the issues Hutchinson and law enforcement officials brought up.

“We went through Senate bill 298 and we tried to include all the language that was possible that did not interfere with the Game and Fish funding. It did not interfere with the cases that were being tried at the moment prior to January 1 and basically this is the sausage that came out of that factory.”

For what it’s worth, Wardlaw said that while Hutchinson considers the new bill extreme, he’s not going to veto it.

That’s a big win and yet another sanctuary state into the mix, regardless of whether they call the measure “gun sovereignty” or something else.

Unfortunately, that’s not likely to do much to stop Democrats in Congress from continuing to try and cram gun control down our throats. Their history with gun control is one of racism and failure, and yet they persist to try and pretend they have nothing but success.

Enter bills like this one, which tries to counter the legislative overreach and preserve the Second Amendment rights of their residents. You know, fulfilling the oath all lawmakers swear but that some in Washington seem intent on ignoring.

Regardless, this is good and I’m going to applaud Arkansas lawmakers for working so damn hard to make gun sovereignty happen this legislative session. That couldn’t have been easy. They could have just shrugged and said, “Oh well. We tried,” then went on with their lives, but they didn’t. They put the nose to the proverbial grindstone and got it done.

They deserve a round of applause for their efforts.

For lawmakers in other states? THIS is how you show your commitment to the Second Amendment. It’s not platitudes during campaign season. It’s in stepping up and getting legislation passed that supports and defends people’s Second Amendment rights.

I can think of a few lawmakers who would do well to learn this lesson.