Sen. Margaret Dayton (R – Orem) is the sponsor of S.B. 11, Utah-State Made Firearms Protection Act. In a recent email she stated, “My Firearms Freedom Act passed out of Interim Committee in Nov – and I anticipate that it will go directly to the floor when the Legislature convenes in January. I am pleased to sponsor this bill as it promotes the 2nd, 9th, and 10th amendments.” We are pleased to support your efforts in sponsoring this bill Sen. Dayton, we believe it is always right to defend those you represent while upholding your oath. In short, I believe you are right.
Sen. Dayton’s bill is among the growing movement of states claiming some form of a Firearms Freedom Act. There is action in Texas, Tennessee (whom the ATF wrote a letter against already), Florida, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Michigan, Montana, and South Carolina. All have state legislatures who are all willing to take a 2nd, 9th, and 10th Amendment stand for their citizens. All these states also have representatives who are not so willing, as does Utah.
According to Brandon Loomis’s recent Salt Lake Tribune article, Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck (D-Salt Lake City) “questioned why Utah would invite its own lawsuit before seeing how Montana’s law fares in court.” I am so glad Rep. Chavez-Houck is not in the military standing as an ally in the face of oncoming enemy troops. It would be the same as asking why go into the fight before we know if the allies get whooped. Whether or not Montana’s law (which led the charge) gets upheld or denied in a lawsuit does not make federal usurpation of Constitutional powers right. In short, I believe you are wrong Rep. Chavez-Houck.
However, you are not wrong alone. There are many who either will not stand with other states or who believe the Supreme Court’s bad precedent regarding the ‘Commerce Clause’ is actually good. The claws of the federal government grew in 1942 when Wickard v. Filburn was settled by the Stone Court. At issue was a farmer who did not want to pay a fine levied against him for growing more wheat than the government allowed (another wrong). The wheat grown was completely for personal use, never leaving the farm. Though farmer Filburn claimed to only use the wheat for feeding his poultry and livestock the Supreme Court seized the opportunity to usurp federal power and they have not looked back since. It was decided that since the farmer grew wheat for his own use he would not need to buy any locally which could, in the big picture, mean there might be less wheat sold in Ohio which could mean there would be less sold interstate or outside Ohio. This, it was decided, was negatively impacting interstate commerce and within the legislative powers enumerated in the Constitution.
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 states, “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” Yes, that is it, in its entirety. Since 1942 the federal government has used the Wickard v. Filburn case as precedent to expand this simple enumerated power to everything we cannot imagine. If interstate commerce means a product grown locally, by an individual for individual consumption, there is little it does not mean and little the federal powers have not done and are not doing today, including health care deformed.
The many states standing up on the issue of a Firearms Freedom Act is a stand worthy of fighting for as a step toward restoring Constitutional order. Since 1942 the train wrecks caused by abuse of the Commerce Clause are too numerous to mention here. This stance alone will not correct the wrongs but it is a start. Anytime the states are willing to unite and fight we should be ready to stand with them. We should be ready to stand with Senator Dayton and Senator Christensen (R – North Ogden) while standing against Representative Chavez-Houck who feels we should not risk a lawsuit unless and until Montana wins. It is this type of attitude that has allowed bad precedent to rule since 1942; we will not stand idle and let it continue. We will strive to achieve the preamble goal of securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and, more importantly, for our posterity.
What can you do? Get educated on our heritage, get involved in supporting legislation that supports our 10th Amendment rights, and stand up for good principles and goals. You see, it is more than a right, it is our duty!
Gary Wood is the Educational Advisor for the Utah Tenth Amendment Center. Co-founder of the Heritage Training Center, focused on helping end constitutional illiteracy. With 35 years of devoted study of our Constitution his desire is to help others rediscover the inspiring heritage of the United States. Radio show host, training officer, lifetime member of the VFW and most importantly Grandpa.
If you enjoyed this post:
Click Here to Get the Free Tenth Amendment Center Newsletter,