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2013 TN General Assembly
Tue February 26, 2013
Tennessee AG Says State Can’t Nullify Federal Gun Laws
Bills in the Tennessee legislature that attempt to block the enforcement of federal gun laws in the state are unconstitutional. That’s according to a just-released opinion from the state’s top lawyer.
The Tennessee Attorney General memo says the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause trumps state statutes, making it unlawful to nullify firearms laws made on the national level. He goes on to say the state legislature also can’t take a backdoor route and criminalize the enforcement of gun laws in Tennessee, which is exactly what a bill from Senator Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet does. She says,
“I think he has an opinion just like the rest of us have an opinion.”
Beavers says she will continue to push her legislation anyway, arguing that the Tenth Amendment gives states the right to govern themselves. A proposal from Rep. Joe Carr of Murfreesboro aims to nullify any new gun laws made at the federal level. The Attorney General says his bill is also unconstitutional.
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