The Supremacy Clause is the part of the Constitution that says federal law will be the supreme law of the land. What happens at the federal level supersedes state and local regulations.
Frankly, that’s kind of how stuff like that is supposed to work.
However, I can’t help but think that the gun control crowd is of two minds when it comes to the Supremacy Clause.
For example, they absolutely love a bill out of New York state.
A bill that is heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk that would make it easier to sue gun makers has the potential to bring changes to the firearms industry, advocates for gun control on Tuesday said.
The measure, approved at the end of the legislative session this month, is meant to crack down on illegal guns that enter the state and hold gun manufacturers liable for them in the process through civil proceedings. Gun rights supporters have argued the measure could have a cascade effect on other industries.
But advocates for tighter gun laws in New York pointed to other industries, like opioid manufacturers as well as tobacco and automobile makers, which have reformed themselves in the wake of lawsuits.
However, this bill runs completely counter to the Protection of Lawful Commerce of Arms Act, or PLCAA, which forbids lawsuits against gun manufacturers. According to the Supremacy Clause, the New York bill can’t be law because it contradicts the federal PLCAA law.
Maybe the problem is that anti-gunners really just don’t like the Supremacy Clause? I mean, they don’t like the Second Amendment, so their opting to ignore parts of the Constitution wouldn’t be anything new. Is that the issue?
Well, not really, as we can see from the opposition to Missouri’s sanctuary bill.
This month, Gov. Mike Parson signed the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which proclaimed Missouri would no longer enforce federal gun laws. His reason was that it “demonstrates our commitment to reject any attempt by the federal government to circumvent the fundamental right Missourians have to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their property.” The U.S. Department of Justice issued a statement that the state does not possess the authority to enact or enforce such a law.
The actions of the state of Missouri are unconstitutional. In Article VI Clause 2, the U.S. Constitution affirms it is the “supreme law of the land.” Though the Tenth Amendment allows the individual states their sovereignty within their sphere of influence, all of the laws passed by state and local authorities must be enforced by lower governmental agencies.
Now, I’m not saying the two laws are similar. There are profound differences, yet those differences only serve to highlight the anti-gun hypocrisy.
New York’s bill seeks to run completely and totally counter to federal law. Meanwhile, Missouri’s law says state and local law enforcement won’t enforce gun control laws. In fact, the only difference between Missouri’s sanctuary law and the sanctuary measures in place over immigration is that Missouri’s law provides civil penalties against law enforcement officers who violate it.
The fact that anti-gunners are loving New York’s bill and loathing Missouri’s law illustrates just how selectively anti-gunners view the Supremacy Clause. In essence, they only think it applies to the things they dislike while measures they approve of are free to run counter to it all day long.
With this degree of hypocrisy, though, should we really trust anything else they try to claim? I sure as hell don’t.