San Antonio’s newsradio WOAI.com has this story of a Texas Representative trying to exersize Texas’ sovreignty under the 10th Amendment:
Measure Would Exempt Texans from Federal Gun Laws
another ‘sovereignty’ measure
By Jim Forsyth; Tuesday, May 5, 2009
With talk of ‘secession’ still ringing, a key conservative Texas lawmaker has fired another warning shot in the direction of the federal government, 1200 WOAI news reports.
State Representative Leo Berman (R-Tyler) has filed a measure to essentially exempt Texans from federal firearms laws, involving weapons which are made, transported, and sold in Texas. The measure would also exempt Texas made ammunition and gun parts.
“If we produce them in Texas and they are stamped with a stamp made in Texas for use within Texas, they cannot be regulated by the federal government,” Berman said of his measure. Berman stresses that his bill would not end all regulations, convicted felons, for example, could still not legally buy firearms.
So called ‘firearms sovereignty’ bills have also been introduced in Alaska and Montana, Berman said.
Berman’s bill comes less than a month after Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s discussion of ‘secession’ raised many eyebrows in Washington. Less than a week before his ‘secession’ remarks, Perry had spoken out strongly in favor of a bill in the Legislature which would order the federal government not to try to impose any regulations and restrictions in Texas which are not specifically called for in the U.S. Constitution, citing the Tenth Amendment.
Berman says he is worried about potential gun rights restrictions coming from Washington. “We’re concerned about what Attorney General Eric Holder wants to do to end our rights to keep and bear arms,” Berman said.
Berman says he could not prevent the federal government from regulating the shipment of firearms into and out of Texas, but he says if a gun is manufactured in Texas and stays here, citizens should not be subjected to background checks, as well as waiting periods and federal gun registration laws imposed by Washington.
Berman’s bill is given no chance of passing. The Legislature is required to wrap up its regular session by the end of this month.
Personally, I think this bill goes a bit too far. I’m all in favor of background checks and firearms classes for new owners. You can’t be too careful.
But I would *LOVE* to see this bill get out of committee and be put up for a vote. If it comes to a vote in the full legislature, I think it’s got better than a 50/50 chance of passage. Texas has this “thing” about guns and gun ownership; and any legislator who opposes this bill is, politely, “toast.”
If you’re reading this and you’re from Texas, CLICK HERE to find your legislator. If you’re not from Texas and you’re just sympathetic, here’s how to contact Rep. Berman, who is my personal hero:
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0584
District Address: P.O. Box 6028, Tyler, TX 75711
District Phone: (903) 939-2400
Let’s get this thing out of committee, at the least!