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PA House Republican Daryl Metcalfe (12th District - Butler county), after introducing legislation to stop enforcement of any new federal guns and ammunition restrictions in Pennsylvania, is now openly enticing guns and ammunition manufacturers from other states to relocate to PA with his proposed law. There's no telling if the heads of these businesses are as ignorant as the state representative, but they shouldn't be banking on the legislation doing anything if it's passed, because its entire premise is based on a comically amateur misunderstanding of how government works. Metcalfe couldn't have been paying too much attention in the classroom when being taught the branches of government.

The bill is called the Right to Bear Arms Protection Act (House Bill 357), and according to a press release from Metcalfe's office, it would have two main provisions. One would "[p]rohibit enforcement of any new federal registration, restriction or prohibition requirement for privately owned firearms, magazines and ammunition." The other would "[r]equire the state of Pennsylvania, including the Office of Attorney General, to intercede on behalf of Commonwealth citizens against any federal attempt to register, restrict or ban the purchase or ownership of firearms and firearms accessories which are currently legal products."

PA State Representative Daryl Metcalfe
PA State Representative Daryl Metcalfe
Metcalfe's bill is a nullification law, the generic term for a state law aimed at exempting that state from a federal law. The thing is, nullification laws like Metcalfe's are unconstitutional because federal laws inherently preempt state laws. Furthermore, Metcalfe cites the alleged unconstitutionality of potential federal gun laws in defense of his legislation, but if he had the most basic understanding of the branches of government and separation of powers - institutions whose roles are laid out in the Constitution itself - he'd know that it's the judicial branch that's in charge of deeming laws unconstitutional. Metcalfe also defended his bill by saying:
Passage of my legislation will send the message that there will never be additional gun control, anywhere in Pennsylvania. Whether by White House executive orders, congressional fiat, or judicial activism, we will never allow the left to benefit from the wicked acts of murderers in order advance their senseless gun-grabbing agenda which would only succeed in replacing one of our most sacred personal liberties with the chains of government tyranny.
Now we know who put the "moron" in "oxymoron" because the term "congressional fiat" contradicts itself. If a bill is passed by two legislative chambers and signed into law by a president, it is by definition not the arbitrary unilateral imposition that calling it a "fiat" alludes to. And call them activists if you please, but the very Constitution you're attempting to thump gives the judicial branch the power to determine laws' constitutionality - not the legislative branch you're a member of. If it's fair to call it "chains of government tyranny" when constitutionally enacted laws restrict guns and ammunition sales, it must be fair to call it "chains of government tyranny" when one person in the government tries to stop all the others from properly doing their job in accordance with the Constitution to protect the people.
Schoolhouse Rock branches of government
A Visual Aid from Schoolhouse Rock Explaining Branches of Government for Daryl Metcalfe
Evidently clueless about the futility of his own bill, Metcalfe has now proceeded to tout it on an active campaign to get guns and ammunition companies in other states to relocate to Pennsylvania because of our relatively lax gun laws. One such company is the gun manufacturer Beretta, which operates out of Maryland, where some of its products are illegal to purchase. Another is Magpul, a company that has said it would move from its home-state of Colorado if they passed a ban on magazines with more than 15 rounds, which they now have. If these companies want to relocate to Pennsylvania because we don't have equally strict gun laws right now, they may do so, but if they do so because they think new federal gun restrictions wouldn't be enforced here, they should join Metcalfe in a Civics 101 class.

Originally posted to ProgressivePatriotPA on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 01:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, Pittsburgh Area Kossacks, and VAGV - Veterans Against Gun Violence.

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