Republican Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant urged Congress to make it illegal to enforce any executive order that violates the Constitution. "If someone kicks open my door and they're entering my home, I'd like as many bullets as I could to protect my children, and if I only have three, then the ability for me to protect my family is greatly diminished," Bryant said, adding that he is standing against the federal government taking away civil liberties. Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr wants to make it a state crime for federal agents to enforce any ban on firearms or ammunition. Similar proposals have popped up in Wyoming, Utah and Alaska.
"While such proposals are eye-catching, they likely could never be implemented," Barnard writes. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution states that federal law always supersedes state law when there is a conflict between the two. University of Denver constitutional law professor Sam Kamin told Barnard that "such disdain of Obama's proposals is reminiscent of former Confederate states' refusal to comply with federal law extending equal rights for blacks after the Civil War."
Some rural sheriffs see the federal government as an adversary, and gun ownership is at the core of that belief, Barnard reports. Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole in Minnesota said he would refuse to enforce federal mandates about guns, and the Texas-based Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association supports that view. The National Sheriff's Association has supported administration efforts to fight gun violence after Sandy Hook; the group's president, Larry Amerson, sheriff in Calhoun, Ala., said he understands rural people's frustration, but feels his oath of office binds him to uphold all laws. (Read more)