Society

Louisiana Senators Defer Vote on Pro-Gun Bill Over Constitution Concerns

| by Dabney Bailey
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Louisiana Representative Jim Morris (R) opted to defer the vote on a highly controversial pro-gun bill that would invalidate federal gun control laws in the state. If the bill had passed, it would have made it illegal to enforce federal gun control laws that restrict the use of semi-automatic weapons and ammunition.

Despite having support from gun owners and legislators, the bill won’t be getting a vote anytime soon. Morris, the bill’s sponsor, deferred the vote amidst fears that the bill violated the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. Even Morris was willing to admit that the bill might have gone too far. "Federal government can go a little overboard, and sometimes you need to push back," he explained. "Let the courts of this state and beyond decide."

The bill probably wouldn’t have lasted very long. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promised that he would retaliate against Kansas if they passed a similar law. Holder would undoubtedly try to kill a Louisiana law that takes power away from the federal government and puts it into the hands of the states.

Holder wasn’t the only one who opposed the bill. Sen. Dan Claitor, a fellow Republican, tried to introduce an amendment that would have made the bill retroactive to April 30, 1812. "That's the date (Louisiana) was admitted to the Union," Claitor said. "Frankly, I think it's unconstitutional. With this amendment, it highlights that point.”

He submitted another amendment that would have made violating the law a crime punishable by death, meaning that the state would have to prosecute and kill government employees. Both amendments failed.

Similarly, Sen. Ed Murray (D) called the bill “patently unconstitutional” and added, "We fought this war before." Murray referred to different major historical event in the 1800s: the Civil War, wherein Louisiana and other Confederate states lost the war with the Union over states’ rights. The federal government has trumped states ever since Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in 1865, and Morris’ gun control bill isn’t likely to change that.

Source: Go Erie