State nullification laws provide for criminal punishment of state judges & jurors who enforce or uphold federal firearms law

January 28th, 2013 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

Numerous state bills introduced in the last several weeks regarding firearms purport to either nullify federal laws and actions or exempt firearms made in a state (declaring them intrastate items and not subject to the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause). Several, however, go further and threaten or allude to criminal penalties for federal and state officials, including state judges and jurors by name, should they enforce or uphold such federal laws or actions.

Texas HB 553 for example provides

A person who is a Peace Officer, State Officer, or State Employee commits an offense if the person, while acting under color of the person’s office or employment, intentionally enforces or attempts to enforce any acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, rules or regulations of any kind whatsoever of the United States government relating to confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore.

Arizona’s HB 2291 and SB 1122 both are silent on what penalties a public servant faces for enforcing a federal firearms law, but include within the definition of those covered both state judges and jurors.

For the purposes of this section, “public servant” means any officer or employee of this state or any political subdivision of this state, including legislators and judges, and any person who participates, as juror, witness, advisor, consultant or otherwise, in performing a government function.

The Senate version is set for a hearing before that chamber’s Public Safety committee on January 30.

Full list of all such legislation below the fold.

Update 1/28/13 @ 2:00 PM added Missouri & Pennsylvania bills

State and Bill Applies to Punishment for enforcement
Alaska HB 69 Federal officials only Felony
Arizona HB 2291 State and federal officials, including specifically judges and jurors Federal official: Class 6 Felony; State officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Arizona SB 1112 State and federal officials, including specifically judges and jurors Federal official: Class 6 Felony; State officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Georgia HB 90 Federal officials only Felony
Mississippi HB 625 State and federal officials Federal official: Felony; State officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Mississippi SB 2519 State and federal officials Federal official: Felony; State officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Mississippi SB 2529 State and federal officials Federal official: Felony; State officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Missouri HB 170 State and federal officials Federal official: Class D Felony; State/local officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Missouri HB 190 State and federal officials Federal official: Class D Felony; State/local officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Missouri HB 209 State and federal officials Federal official: Class D Felony; State/local officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Missouri SB 150 State and federal officials Federal official: Class D Felony; State/local officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Montana HB 302 State and local officials Crime of official misconduct: fine of up to $500 and up to 6 months in county jail
New Mexico HB 114 State and federal officials Third degree felony
North Dakota HB 1183 Appears to be state and local executive branch officials only Class A misdemeanor
Oklahoma HB 548 State and federal officials Federal official: Felony; State/local officials: Misdemeanor
Pennsylvania HB 357 State and federal officials Third degree felony
South Carolina HB 3399 State and local officials None (declares such federal actions are void in state and not to be enforced)
South Carolina SB 224 State and local officials None (declares such federal actions are void in state and not to be enforced)
South Carolina SB 285 Federal officials only Felony
Tennessee HB 42 State and federal officials; state officials specifically include “elected or appointed person in the…judicial branch” Federal official: Class A misdemeanor; State/local officials: None (they are not to enforce)
Tennessee SB 100 State and federal officials; state officials specifically include “elected or appointed person in the…judicial branch” Federal official: Class A misdemeanor; State/local officials: None (they are not to enforce)
Texas HB 553 State and local officials; state officials specifically include “elected or appointed person in the…judicial branch” Federal official: Class A misdemeanor; State/local officials: Class B misdemeanor
Virginia HB 2340 Limited to “agencies” and “political subdivisions” and specifically not “courts” None (they are not to enforce)
Washington HB 1371 State and federal officials Federal official: Felony; State/local officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)
Wyoming HB 104 State and federal officials, including specifically judges and jurors Federal official: Felony; State/local officials: None (says it is “unlawful” but provides no penalty)

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