American Government and the Constitution Lecture Eleven

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American Government and the Constitution Lectures: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12

Kansas Senate Bill No. 102

SENATE BILL No. 102

AN ACT enacting the second amendment protection act. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:

Section 1. Sections 1 through 11, and amendments thereto, may be cited as the second amendment protection act.

Sec. 2. The legislature declares that the authority for sections 1 through 11, and amendments thereto, is the following:

(a) The tenth amendment to the constitution of the United States guarantees to the states and their people all powers not granted to the federal government elsewhere in the constitution and reserves to the state and people of Kansas certain powers as they were understood at the time that Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861. The guaranty of those powers is a matter of contract between the state and people of Kansas and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Kansas in 1859 and the United States in 1861.
(b) The ninth amendment to the constitution of the United States guarantees to the people rights not granted in the constitution and reserves to the people of Kansas certain rights as they were understood at the time that Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861. The guaranty of those rights is a matter of contract between the state and people of Kansas and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Kansas in 1859 and the United States in 1861.
(c) The second amendment to the constitution of the United States reserves to the people, individually, the right to keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time that Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861, and the guaranty of that right is a matter of contract between the state and people of Kansas and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Kansas in 1859 and the United States in 1861.
(d) Section 4 of the bill of rights of the constitution of the state of Kansas clearly secures to Kansas citizens, and prohibits government interference with, the right of individual Kansas citizens to keep and bear arms. This constitutional protection is unchanged from the constitution of the state of Kansas, which was approved by congress and the people of Kansas, and the right exists as it was understood at the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Kansas in 1859 and the United States in 1861.

Sec. 3. As used in sections 1 through 11, and amendments thereto, the following definitions apply:

(a) ‘‘Borders of Kansas’’ means the boundaries of Kansas described in the act for admission of Kansas into the union, 12 stat. 126, ch. 20, § 1.
(b) ‘‘Firearms accessories’’ means items that are used in conjunction with or mounted upon a firearm but are not essential to the basic function of a firearm, including, but not limited to, telescopic or laser sights, magazines, flash or sound suppressors, collapsible or adjustable stocks and grips, pistol grips, thumbhole stocks, speedloaders, ammunition carriers and lights for target illumination.
(c) ‘‘Manufacture’’ means to assemble using multiple components to create a more useful finished product.

Sec. 4. (a) A personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas is not subject to any federal law, treaty, federal regulation, or federal executive action, including any federal firearm or ammunition registration program, under the authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce. This section applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas.

(b) Component parts are not firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition, and their importation into Kansas and incorporation into a firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition manufactured and owned in Kansas does not subject the firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition to federal regulation. It is declared by the legislature that such component parts are not firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition and are not subject to congressional authority to regulate firearms, firearms accessories and ammunition under interstate commerce as if they were actually firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition.
(c) Firearms accessories that are imported into Kansas from another state and that are subject to federal regulation as being in interstate commerce do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in Kansas.

Sec. 5. A firearm manufactured in Kansas within the meaning of sections 1 through 11, and amendments thereto, must have the words ‘‘Made in Kansas’’ clearly stamped on a central metallic part, such as the receiver or frame.

Sec. 6. (a) Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.

(b) No official, agent or employee of the state of Kansas, or any political subdivision thereof, shall enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States regarding any personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas.

Sec. 7. It is unlawful for any official, agent or employee of the government of the United States, or employee of a corporation providing services to the government of the United States to enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States regarding a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas. Violation of this section is a severity level 10 nonperson felony. Any criminal prosecution for a violation of this section shall be commenced by service of complaint and summons upon such official, agent or employee. Such official, agent or employee shall not be arrested or otherwise detained prior to, or during the pendency of, any trial for a violation of this section.

Sec. 8. A county or district attorney, or the attorney general, may seek injunctive relief in any court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin any official, agent or employee of the government of the United States or employee of a corporation providing services to the government of the United States from enforcing any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States regarding a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas.

Sec. 9. Sections 1 through 11, and amendments thereto, do not apply to: (a) A firearm that cannot be carried and used by one person; (b) ammunition with a projectile that explodes using an explosion of chemical energy after the projectile leaves the firearm; or (c) other than shotguns, a firearm that discharges two or more projectiles with one activation of the trigger or other firing device.

Sec. 10. Sections 1 through 11, and amendments thereto, apply to firearms, firearms accessories and ammunition that are manufactured, as defined in section 3, and amendments thereto, owned and remain within the borders of Kansas on and after October 1, 2009.

Sec. 11. If any provision of sections 1 through 10, and amendments thereto, or the application to any persons or circumstances is held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or application of sections 1 through 10, and amendments thereto, and to this end the provisions of section 1 through 10, and amendments thereto, are declared to be severable.

Sec. 12. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the Kansas register.

Letter by Attorney General Holder to Kansas Governor Brownback

April 26, 2013

Dear Governor Brownback:

I am writing in connection with Senate Bill Number 102 ("S.B. 1 02"), which, as you know, was recently enacted by the State of Kansas and which became effective on April 25, 2013.

Among its other provisions, S.B. 102 criminalizes the enforcement of federal law with respect to the types of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition described in the statute. The law purports to nullify certain federal firearms requirements and to authorize the State of Kansas to charge and convict federal officers for performing their law enforcement duties.

In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, S.B. 102 directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional. Federal officers who are responsible for enforcing federal laws and regulations in order to maintain public safety cannot be forced to choose between the risk of a criminal prosecution by a state and the continued performance of their federal duties. Under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, Kansas may not prevent federal employees and officials from carrying out their official responsibilities. And a state certainly may not criminalize the exercise of federal responsibilities. Because S.B. 102 conflicts with federal firearms laws and regulations, federal law supersedes this new statute; all provisions of federal laws and their implementing regulations therefore continue to apply.

I am writing to inform you that federal law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Kansas, will continue to execute their duties to enforce all federal firearms laws and regulations. Moreover, the United States will take all appropriate action, including litigation if necessary, to prevent the State of Kansas from interfering with the activities of federal officials enforcing federal law.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss this matter further.

Eric H. Holder, Jr. Attorney General

Kansas Governor Brownback's Response

May 2, 2013

Dear Attorney General Holder:

The State of Kansas is in receipt of your letter in which you place Kansas on notice regarding the view of the Obama Administration concerning the state’s Second Amendment Protection Act.

The right to keep and bear arms is a right that Kansans hold dear. It is a right enshrined not only in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also protected by the Kansas Bill of Rights. The people of Kansas have repeatedly and overwhelmingly reaffirmed their commitment to protecting this fundamental right. The people of Kansas are likewise committed to defending the sovereignty of the State of Kansas as guaranteed in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

The state’s Second Amendment Protection Act, which expressly restates our commitment to these rights, was approved by wide, bi-partisan margins in the Kansas Legislature.

The measure was adopted by a vote of 35 to 4 in the Kansas Senate with the Democrat Senate Minority Leader supporting the bill. The measure was adopted by a vote of 96 to 24 in the Kansas House of Representatives. Again, the Democrat House Minority Leader voted for the bill. This is not a partisan issue in Kansas.

The people of Kansas have clearly expressed their sovereign will. It is my hope that upon further review, you will see their right to do so.

Sincerely,

Sam Brownback
Governor

DOMA

The Defense of Marriage Act (federal law enacted in 1996):

An Act To define and protect the institution of marriage.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Defense of Marriage Act'.
SEC. 2. POWERS RESERVED TO THE STATES.
(a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 1738B the following:
`Sec. 1738C. Certain acts, records, and proceedings and the effect thereof
`No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.'.
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 115 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1738B the following new item:
`1738C. Certain acts, records, and proceedings and the effect thereof.'.
SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.
(a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
`Sec. 7. Definition of `marriage' and `spouse'
`In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.'.
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 6 the following new item:
`7. Definition of `marriage' and `spouse'.'.

This law was then codified in two different sections of Titles 1 and 28 of the United States Code:

1 U.S.C. § 7. Definition of "marriage" and "spouse"
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word "marriage" means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
28 U.S.C. § 1738C. Certain acts, records, and proceedings and the effect thereof
No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.

Homework

Write an essay, about 600 to 800 words in length (1000 to 1200 words for honors), on the Kansas law, or the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), or the recent oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the ObamaCare case, or on any other issue relating to the Constitution.