U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled on Tuesday that Kansas’ Second Amendment Protection Act cannot shield Kansans from prosecutions over violations of gun regulations instituted at the federal level.
The ruling came in a case involving Shane Cox and Jeremy Kettler. Cox owns Tough Guys gun store in Chanute and faces “eight guilty verdicts… under the National Firearms Act for illegally making and marketing unregistered firearms, including a short-barreled rifle and gun silencers.” A jury found Kettler “guilty on one count of possession of an unregistered silencer.”
The Second Amendment Protection Act was passed in 2013 to counter a perceived gun control threat from the Obama administration. The Act says: “Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is null, void, and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.” It was designed to restrict enforceable federal gun control laws to the laws that existed at the time that Kansas entered the Union:
The Second Amendment of the United States reserves to the people, individually, the right to keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861, and the guaranty of that right is a matter of contract between the state and people of Kansas and the United States as of the time the compact with the United States was adopted and agreed upon by Kansas in 1859 and the United States in 1861.
But Judge Marten’s ruling upholds the view that states cannot shield the Second Amendment from federal power.
The Topeka Capital Journal reports that defense attorneys argued against federal taxing regulations–stamp purchase requirements–which exist under the National Firearms Act. Marten responded by ruling “that the nation’s highest court ruled 80 years ago that the National Firearms Act is valid exercise of Congressional taxing power. As such, it supersedes a state law.”
Marten also rejected arguments based on the appeals to the Second Amendment.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.