Sunday, March 23, 2014

Two really bad pro-gun bills shot down: One proposed "nullification"; the other trampled private property rights.

Two nutty pro-gun bills, both sponsored by Sen Mae Beavers. were shot down this week in the State legislature. While a lot of embarrassingly bad bills get introduced, thankfully common sense usually prevails and few of the really bad bills pass.

SB1607 would have nullified any federal gun law in Tennessee if the gun in question was manufactured in Tennessee and remained in Tennessee. Nullification is the discredited theory that a state can nullify a federal law. The civil war settled that issue for most folks but a hard core element of fringe conservatives still advocate nullification from time to time.

SB1607 has been deemed unconstitutional by the State's Attorney General and a similar law in another state was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. The bill got 3 "ayes," 4 "nays," and one present not voting in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senators voting aye on SB1607 were Campfield, Bell, and Green, and those voting "no" were Senators Kelsey, Overbey, Finney, and Stevens. Senator Ford was present and not voting.

The other bill was SB1733 which was a rewrite of last year's "guns in trunk" law, which really didn't do much. SB1733 would have accomplished what I think proponents of last year's bill wanted to accomplish. It would allow a person to carry a gun onto the property of their employer even if the employer had a "no guns" policy. It would prohibit an employer form bringing criminal charges against an employee who did so and would open the employer up to being sued if he fired the employee.

This bill was certainly not a pro-Second Amendment bill as some have tried to fashion it. As anyone who knows anything about the constitution knows, rights numerated in the Bill of Rights are restrictions on government, not individuals. Google or The Tennessean can not violate one's First Amendment Rights and one's employer cannot violated one's Second Amendment rights.  This bill would trample the right of private property. 

Senators voting aye on SB1733 were Campfield, Bell, and Green and those voting "no" were Kelsey, Overbey, Finney, Ford, and Stevens. 

Mae Beaver's days in the State Legislature may be numbered as she has picked up a strong primary challenger in the person of  Clark Boyd. Until recently Boyd was chair of the Wilson County Republican Party, is a small business owner and has good conservative and community involvement credentials.

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