A Tennessee Threeper made the journey all the way down to Bessemer Alabama to give me the word. Here it is, just two paragraphs buried in a larger story about guns in Tennessee parks.
The measure was one of two firearms bills to become law Friday. Bredesen also allowed the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act to pass into law without his signature.
The act asserts that the federal government cannot regulate guns that are made in Tennessee and never cross out of the state. The law is based on a "fringe constitutional theory" that will not stand up in courts, Bredesen said.
Yes, dear friends, Tennessee has joined Montana in throwing the gauntlet down at the Feds' feet.
Here is some home-grown Tennessee comment on it.
Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act To Pass Without Signature
June 12, 2009
Governor Phil Bredesen will not stand in the way of House Bill 1796. He will allow it to pass without his signature.
Bredesen, in a letter to Speaker Kent Williams, states that the bill which says that federal laws do not apply to firearms, accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in Tennessee, will likely be found to be unconstitutional.
“This bill is not about firearms. It is about a fringe constitutional theory that I believe will be quickly dispensed with by the federal courts.
The Tennessee General Assembly lacks the Constitutional authority to limit the power and authority of federal government in this way…
…While I share the General Assembly’s commitment to federalism, this legislation contravenes our Constitution. I am allowing it to become law so that it can quickly be dealt with by the federal courts.”
Excuse me? What exactly is our governor saying here? I believe in federalism — except when the states really try to take real power back? I believe in federalism — but not for things like this?
What is unconstitutional about this? If a gun is made here and kept here what the heck business of the federal government is it? If Tennessee wants to make its own laws on firearms why is that bad and how is it unconstitutional?
Bredesen says he believes in federalism but then calls the legislation “based on a fringe constitutional theory.”
What theory would that be other than federalism? This bill doesn’t contravene the Constitution, it contravenes the modern interpretation of it. If you believe in federalism it should be a principle you abide whether the modern court agrees or not.
And if Bredesen does believe the bill is unconstitutional, why not veto it? It’ll become law either way, given our weak gubernatorial veto. The governor took an oath to the constitution, right? How is letting something pass he believes to be unconstitutional in keeping with that oath.
It would be one thing if he wasn’t sure and he wanted to dispatch it to the courts without prejudice. But there seems to be prejudice here.
If he feels the way he obviously does, he should have vetoed it. Otherwise he should have let it pass without comment.
If he doesn’t have enough fortitude to stand up to a “fringe constitutional theory” why do we need to hear about it?
and here is a pdf of the Governor's pissy-toned letter.
All the Tea Parties and Tenth Amendment resolutions in the world aren't going to give pause to the Leviathan.
This, however, is a challenge they cannot ignore.
THIS they will have to deal with.