Subject: Please Support Mississippi's Firearm Protect Act, HB 625
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* Senator Briggs Hopson
* Representative Alex Monsour
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Dear [The message(s) you sent had each recipient's name here]:
Currently introduced in the Mississippi House of Representatives is House Bill 625, the Firearm Protection Act. The purpose of this proposed legislation is to protect the people of Mississippi's Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms by making any federal law, rule, regulation, or order that attempts in any way to ban, restrict, or register a semi-automatic firearm or magazine, as unenforceable within the borders of the state of Mississippi; providing criminal penalties to any federal official who tries to enforce such a federal measure within the state's borders.
The key provision of the Firearm Protection Act (FPA) reads:
"Any federal law, rule, regulation or order created or effective on or after January 1, 2013, shall be unenforceable within the borders of Mississippi if the law, rule, regulation or order attempts to:
(a) Ban or restrict ownership of a semi-automatic firearm or any magazine of a firearm; or
(b) Require any firearm, magazine or other firearm accessory to be registered in any manner."
Another key provision of the FPA reads:
"Any official, agent or employee of the United States government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in Mississippi and that remains exclusively within the borders of Mississippi shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be subject to imprisonment for not less than one (1) year and one (1) day or more than five (5) years, a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both."
Such a law is not without historical precedent. Historian Thomas Woods has written an excellent brief history of state nullification of federal laws in his article, "The States' Rights Tradition Nobody Knows." In recent years dozens of states have introduced nullification-type legislation to stop Real ID, affirm the Tenth Amendment, reject a federal mandate to buy healthcare insurance, and to reject federal firearm laws for guns manufactured, sold, and used intrastate (known as Firearms Freedom Acts or FFA). A total of eight states have passed FFAs. Now, all across the country sheriffs and legislators are acting to nullify President Obama's gun controls.
The purpose of this new FPA is to guarantee that the people of Mississippi's Second Amendment rights are not curtailed or trampled on in any manner or form by the federal government. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
At the time of the Second Amendment's ratification, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, in December 1791, it was understood that the militia meant the free able-bodied citizenry of the country. In 1788, Richard Henry Lee, signatory to the Declaration of Independence and subsequent Articles of Confederation, explained the meaning of the term militia, as understood at the time, and the imperative for citizens to be armed. Lee wrote, "A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves ... and include all men capable of bearing arms.... To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms...."
During the Massachusetts's Convention to Ratify the Constitution in 1788, Samuel Adams also explained, "...The said Constitution [is to] be never construed ...to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
In volume 1, page 300, of St. George Tucker's edition of Blackstone's Commentaries: With Notes and Reference (1803), which was the most popular legal commentary of its day, Tucker stated:
"The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever ... the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
St. George Tucker was an attorney and a military officer who was wounded twice during the American Revolution, and was one of the leaders of the 1786 Annapolis Convention, which paved the way for the subsequent Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. Tucker was a legal professor at the College of William and Mary, and served as a justice in the Supreme Court of Virginia. President James Madison later appointed him as a federal judge.
In addition to the U.S. Constitution, Article 3, Section 12 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi states, "The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question..."
The right to keep and bear arms is one of the most essential components enshrined in both the Bill of the Rights and the Mississippi State Constitution in order to secure the preservation of one's liberty and property. The proposed Firearm Protection Act further strengthens this right by rejecting any newly created encroachment by the federal government and imposing criminal charges on any federal agent that would enforce any such violation of both the Constitution of the United States and the Mississippi State Constitution.
Please be sure to vote YES, in favor, of the Firearm Protection Act, HB 625.
I know I can depend on your 'yes' vote in favor of the Firearm ProtectionAct- HB625.
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