In response to President Joe Biden’s promises to further limit gun ownership, Tennessee legislators introduced the Second Amendment Sanctuary Act.
The bill summarizes its premise in just under a page – prohibiting enforcement of any federal government laws, treaties, executive orders, rules, or regulations that violate the Second Amendment. The summary explained that passage would render pressures on Second Amendment rights as “null, void, and unenforceable.” Additionally, the bill would limit state or local governments from using public funds, personnel, or property to enforce them.
State Representative Scotty Campbell (R-Mountain City) introduced the bill first, followed by a companion bill from State Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald).
In a statement to The Tennessee Star, Hensley explained that the bill directly dealt with any potential actions by Biden.
“This is an attempt to protect Tennessee citizens from an overreach of power from the Biden administration or Congress to circumvent our Second Amendment rights,” stated Hensley.
Hensley’s spokespersons clarified that there isn’t any amendatory language to add to the bill.
In an interview on Wednesday, Campbell explained that the Biden administration’s increasing transparency on their stance on gun rights portends trouble.
“Well, it’s a very serious time in our country,” stated Campbell. “We do not know what the Biden Administration is going to do, but that picture is becoming a bit more clear every day.”
Campbell referenced H.R. 127 in Congress introduced by Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) early last month, which he called concerning. The bill would restrict gun ownership further by tracking firearms and ammunition movement more closely and imposing strict requirements for purchasing or acquiring firearms.
“What we’re trying to do in Tennessee [is ensure that] taxpayer money cannot be used for the enforcement of a federal law that’s deemed unconstitutional as it relates to the Second Amendment,” stated Campbell. “This would prevent the federal government – through executive order or federal law – from telling law enforcement [that] they have to go take guns away. President Biden has made it very clear that he wants to see assault weapons banned. I don’t want to see that. Many Tennesseans choose to use those for protection at times and other locations if needed, and we’ve seen that crime doesn’t increase with that decision.”
On Valentine’s Day and anniversary of the Parkland shooting, Biden vowed to impose background checks on all gun sales, ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminate immunity for gun manufacturers. The President touted these reforms as “common sense” gun laws.
Campbell added that this legislation would provide a basis of understanding for courts to protect gun owners if Biden’s initiatives came into play.
“Look this is about seeing that guns don’t go on the extinct list or, you know, the illegal list. If we start losing some of those freedoms right now, one piece at a time, what constitutional rights are we going to lose next.”
The bill was passed on first consideration in both the House and Senate.
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