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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While states can give people more rights than federal law, states cannot be more restrictive than federal laws. State laws may not infringe on federal law, meaning that if a right is afforded to Washington State residents on a federal level, the state legislature may not infringe on those rights.

Yet, states ban certain calibers, they ban certain firearms, or entire classes of firearms in their entirety. How is this legal?
 

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That has been a question on my mind for more years than I can count because, in school we sat in on a Cort hearing and what you asked was exactly what the judge told us.
 

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Plain and simple it isn't legal but politics prevail and the Supreme Court isn't doing their job.
 

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I thought it was the opposite. I thought the Supremacy Clause says that States have to abide by Federal Law (and so on, down the chain), but they can make their own laws that rule more broadly than Federal laws.

What's the legal basis for saying States can override Federal Law? I think the cases we've seen of States legalizing pot, etc. are really the cases where the law is being broken.

I'm not taking a stance on the issue (although I would generally lean in favor of the States). Just trying to understand the argument that States can override Federal. My understanding says they can't but I'd like to learn why I'm wrong.
 

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It all comes down to the supremacy of the Constitutional Bill of Rights and further amendments. Things like 2A rights are supreme over states' rights as they are specifically enumerated as God-given rights.

The problem starts when enumerated rights are modified and abused through Federal Law.

A VERY good book on the machinations that developed the Constitution from the Articles of the Confederacy is strongly recommended. It is called "The Quartet". It was mostly a battle of Federalism over those States' rights. The Federalist argument - while understandable - has been abused so much over the past 200+ years as to draw shame upon the Founding Fathers' vision - something they could not have foreseen. It was mostly about interstate commerce and foreign relations. Then it planted the seeds for what we have now.

I, too, favor the States, but the Constitution and its bill of rights reigns supreme - they apply to EVERY American citizen. Where this nation gets in trouble are the so-called "Acts" and regulations. We have the judicial branch of this great nation to act as a constraint. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

"Shall not be infringed" - rather than an absolute statement - seems to have become "sometimes".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Precisely. I would think, or at least hoped, that organizations like the NRA and their lawyers would be challenging state laws that restrict federal laws. I'm not even sure how a state can put such laws through their legislature like that without the fed wagging a finger at them, or the people simply telling the state to pound sand.
 

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It all comes down to the supremacy of the Constitutional Bill of Rights and further amendments. Things like 2A rights are supreme over states' rights as they are specifically enumerated as God-given rights.

The problem starts when enumerated rights are modified and abused through Federal Law.

A VERY good book on the machinations that developed the Constitution from the Articles of the Confederacy is strongly recommended. It is called "The Quartet". It was mostly a battle of Federalism over those States' rights. The Federalist argument - while understandable - has been abused so much over the past 200+ years as to draw shame upon the Founding Fathers' vision - something they could not have foreseen. It was mostly about interstate commerce and foreign relations. Then it planted the seeds for what we have now.

I, too, favor the States, but the Constitution and its bill of rights reigns supreme - they apply to EVERY American citizen. Where this nation gets in trouble are the so-called "Acts" and regulations. We have the judicial branch of this great nation to act as a constraint. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

"Shall not be infringed" - rather than an absolute statement - seems to have become "sometimes".
Not everybody respects the constitution, bill of rights, wants it, or will fight for it....Hillary. A lot of people will fight against it though. They perceive it as a threat to their lifestyle and lack of accountability in anything. They are used to money buying everything they want thus making them believe they're better than others. They should have to do some real work for a change. A lot of people will (are) fighting against it so it will continue. No, I can't explain it other than the wealthy elite think they should be the ones with power over everything. There are some simple, fundamental things they don't understand and will learn the hard way if they keep on. Think about it.
 

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I think you have the wrong side of the fence! If one cannot see what is going on now with this socialist fraudulent administration's agenda. We have a bad case of Ostrich Syndrome!
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The Supremacy clause and the doctrine of preemption says so.
I think you are wrong on both cases.

prohibits states from interfering with the federal government's exercise of its constitutional powers
and
a higher authority of law will displace the law of a lower authority of law when the two authorities come into conflict
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Usually, if there is a conflict between federal law and state law, this problem is solved by the supremacy clause (they are the supreme laws of the land as stated by the constitution) and the federal law wins out.

While states can give people more rights than federal law, states cannot be more restrictive than federal laws. This is exactly how states have legalized marijuana in the state while it is still illegal at the federal level. State laws may not infringe on federal law, meaning that if a right is afforded to Washington State residents on a federal level, the state legislature may not infringe on those rights.

When the state law and federal law are in alignment, the state may choose to grant more rights. But in cases where the state law contradicts the federal law, attempting to limit activity, the federal law wins out.
 

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States can legally make their own laws. In the case of Pot, it is still against federal law, and the feds do come to states and make arrests at times. States have always been able to make their own gun laws, and that does not infringe on federal law, it adds to it. The 2A does not say that States can not regulate their "militia"
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Yes, concerning pot, I said as much. It is an example of the state giving more rights over federal law (allowing pot while it is illegal at the federal level). I'd be interested in sources of federal arrests in states where it has been legalized though. Not saying they haven't, I just haven't seen or heard of any.

Not just gun laws, but every state has always been allowed to make their own laws, just so long as they don't restrict any federal laws. In a case where there is no federal law, states are free to do as they wish. Speed limits are an example, the federal government does not legislate speed limits, so states can make them whatever they want. However, the fed does have the Highway trust Fund (used to maintain highways) and they have, in the past, threatened to withhold those funds to states that don't bow to certain whims when it comes to traffic laws. Under the 10th Amendment, powers not explicitly given to the federal government are reserved for the states. But under its authority to regulate interstate commerce, Congress can threaten to withhold essential federal funding for highway infrastructure if states do not comply. This isn't a legal matter as it pertains to who has authority to set law, clearly the states do in this case, but Congress holds the purse strings on a big chunk of money they won't give if a state doesn't comply with their wishes. That in itself seems like it shouldn't be legal, but that's how it goes...a sort of legal extortion, if you will.

Now, what does all of this have to do with California and 50 BMG? Simply put, California's ban of 50 BMG is illegal. They are restricting federal law. 50 BMG is a Title 1 firearm by the federal government's own definition in the GCA and NFA. In other words, the requirements, federally, to purchase and own a 50 BMG rifle is no different than for any other Title 1 firearm. Go to the store, be of legal age, fill out the 4473 and take it home (assuming the 4473 background check doesn't come back negative). California is in violation of the supremacy clause and preemption.
 

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Good questions
But more surprising to me is the input from some "members"
Indeed.


States can legally make their own laws. In the case of Pot, it is still against federal law, and the feds do come to states and make arrests at times. States have always been able to make their own gun laws, and that does not infringe on federal law, it adds to it. The 2A does not say that States can not regulate their "militia"
But the "incorporation" does. Which, pathetically, wasn't expressly tolerated or acknowledged until the 2010 McDonald v Chicago case.

Sadly for each of the states and for the nation as a whole, the right that's explicitly protected against encroachment is the People's. It's the right of the People that shall not allow encroachment upon it. It's not the power of government that's being protected, a claim anathema to the explicit purpose of the BOR.

The prefatory statement merely explains the Founders' view of why it's so vital. Clearly, facing the tyrannical British government of the era showed people how vital it was to be armed. Even well-armed and trained. The fact was, as well, that the concept of being "well-regulated" had zero to do with laws constraining or controlling this right. Instead, it merely referred to as being capable and effective, if the armed people were to be of much use (to themselves, to their communities, to the state as a whole if they should be called upon to participate in service to all). It in no way referred to constraints that could be applied upon the right.

Indeed, being in the BOR itself meant that it could only be a protection of a right the People held, given the whole of the BOR was submitted for consideration to the several states explicitly stating this list was a list of protections to guard what the People held and to prevent misconstruing the nature of these things. It couldn't possibly have been a protection of government power snuck in there, since that was what the BOR itself was being put into place to prevent. It was, quite simply, the gate around the crown jewels that the government was told it shall not encroach upon.

And once the twits in SCOTUS finally tolerated that the RKBA along with the other rights protections was "incorporated" to apply to the states, that pretty much sealed the point. Or, should have. Of course they go on tolerating encroachments. Of course they go on allowing the states to undermine the RKBA. Power over us is at stake, here. Acting as though they're the hired help remains unconscionable to them, unless forced to do so. Most people plainly don't give a damn, and many of the rest are fully comfortable with ignoring such undermining when it does occur (under the misguided and mistaken belief such encroachments don't harm them).

In short, this tolerance for maintaining weak controls upon government is what's got us into this fix. And our checkered appreciation for history and the nature of the formation of this nation is what allows such controls to remain weak and defense of them so spotty.
 
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