Several State Legislators Say No to Federal Gun Control Laws

Lawmakers in seven states oppose the president's gun control proposal

ByABC News
January 16, 2013, 7:21 PM

Jan. 17, 2013— -- No sooner had President Barack Obama laid out his gun control proposals Wednesday, than some states responded, saying they would move to block the laws' enforcement. Some state legislators were even working feverishly to block the measures before the president proposed them.


After the president's announcement, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant joined House Speaker Phil Gunn at a press conference at the State Capitol in Jackson to denounce the president's gun control measures and call on the legislature to make it illegal to enforce any of the new federal gun control measures.

"We are here to assure Mississippians that we are going to continue to fight for their Second Amendment rights to bear arms," Gunn said. "These are dangerous times, and people have a constitutional right to protect themselves and their property."

Bryant also tweeted out a letter he wrote to Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, saying that the president's Executive Order "infringes our constitutional right to keep and bear arms as never before in American history.

"I am asking that you immediately pass legislation that would make any unconstitutional order by the President illegal to enforce in Mississippi by state or local law enforcement," Bryant wrote in the letter, adding that other states have "introduced similar measures and I believe we will be successful in preventing this overreaching and anti-constitutional violation of our rights as American citizens."


On Monday, Texas State Rep. Steve Toth, who represents an area near Houston, announced he would file legislation "assisting the protection of the Second Amendment."

Named the "Firearms Protection Act," the bill would make "any federal law banning semi-automatic firearms or limiting the size of gun magazines unenforceable within the state's boundaries" and most notably "anyone trying to enforce a federal gun ban could face felony charges under the proposal."

"We can no longer depend on the Federal Government and this Administration to uphold a Constitution that they no longer believe in," Toth said in a release. "The liberties of the People of Texas and the sovereignty of our State are too important to just let the Federal Government take them away."


On Wednesday in Missouri, State Sen. Brian Munzlinger, who represents Williamstown, filed legislation he says will seek "to keep far-reaching regulations from violating the constitutional rights of all Missourians."

"Today's extreme grab of power was created under executive order and not heard publicly," Munzlinger said in a statement. "We cannot let the total disregard of our constitutional rights continue."

His proposal would make the president's Executive Order or any federal law banning semi-automatic weapons not already on the books "unenforceable" and the bill notably, like in Texas, would "make it a crime for any officer, government agent, or employee from enforcing a law or order declared unenforceable," effectively making it a crime for the feds to enforce the bill in the state.