Sen. Margaret Dayton (R-Orem) introduced SB-11, Utah State-Made Firearms Protection Act on January 25th, 2010. By February 16th the legislative debates were over and the bill was passed by both houses and sent to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature. After 10 days of public debate, with both sides of the issue encouraging action Gov. Herbert signed this fundamental legislation into law.
In a written statement Gov. Herbert explained his reasoning. “There are times when the state needs to push back against continued encroachment from the federal government. Sending the message that we will stand up for a proper balance between the state and federal government is a good thing.” Opponents will spend the next several days declaring their stance and criticizing his decision. At the same time the federal government will realize Utah has joined with Montana and Tennessee as states serious about the need for our federalist republic to be restored.
Our federal government is to be supreme in all matters pursuant to the U.S. Constitution. The improper precedents and usurpations under the federal judicial rulings surrounding Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (known as the Commerce Clause) are not supreme simply due to the fact they are outside the original meaning. By signing SB-11 Gov. Herbert places Utah in a position of proper authority while pressing the issue of supremacy back into the courts. As more states join this courageous move governing can begin the necessary restoration that will ultimately lead to the protection of people’s rights and responsibility.
In 1942 no state intervened or challenged the usurpation of commerce in Filburn v. Wickard. This landmark decision ruled in favor of the federal government being constitutionally supreme even in a matter of wheat grown by a farmer for personal consumption on his farm. It marked a reversal of precedent set over the course of more than 150 years where the federal courts had ruled against such loose interpretation. Today Gov. Herbert helped draw a line that should have been drawn by the states in 1942. As citizens of Utah it will serve us well to study and understand the implications.
Our state is suffering under budget shortfalls largely linked to such poor interpretations which have led to unfunded mandates for decades. These mandates drain our resources and place us in a fiscal position where we are unable to fund the needs of our citizens so key services are lost while federal authority and bureaucracy grows. Opponents will say this is simply a bunch of gun happy elitists willing to waste our limited resources so they can pound their chests. They will miss the fundamental fact, we are struggling because public servants of the past have not stood strong in the face of usurpation.
All citizens who believe in self-governing responsibility at the lowest level should send a note of thanks to Sen. Dayton, Gov. Herbert, and the many legislators who finally stood, in 2010, for government as it is best implemented. We are better able, as citizens, to control locally our resources and our laws for protecting our rights. The federal government is not competent to override local citizens’ ability if we will educate ourselves and stay active in our local political realm. Gov. Herbert’s signature serves as a reminder to everyone all federal control is not Constitutional and therefore not supreme.
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.
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