Rep Matt Krause (R-093) filed a bill prohibiting state and local law enforcement from enforcing federal firearm laws that do not exist in Texas, are different, or contradict the state laws.
He noted that the law was necessary if an overreaching Democratic administration came to power. This was the fifth consecutive session that Krause filed the bill. He believes that the current political climate will convince legislators to approve the measure.
Krause says that the measure is perfectly legal based on a 1997 ruling in Printz vs. United States. The Supreme court determined that the federal government could not “compel states to enforce their laws for them.” Conversely, the federal government could give a “carrot or stick” but cannot force the states into enforcing federal laws.
“Today I filed HB 635 - a bill that states Texas won’t use its time, personnel, resources, or energy to enforce a federal firearm law that conflicts with Texas policy,” Krause posted on Facebook. “With an unprecedented amount of anti-2nd Amendment bills filed by Democrats already, it will be more important than ever to defend and strengthen our 2nd Amendment rights during the 87th Session.”
House Bill 635 prevents Texas from enforcing certain federal laws regulating firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition. However, HB 635 allows the federal government to regulate firearms, accessories, and ammunition that crosses state lines through interstate commerce.
“HB635 provides no state penalties for the enforcement of federal firearm regulations by federal agents working under federal authority in the state of Texas,” the bill document reads.
State and local authorities cannot assist federal agencies in enforcing gun laws that Texas rejects. Similarly, the law enforcement departments cannot be deputized for the sole purpose of enforcing federal firearm laws that contradict Texas’ laws or do not exist in the Lone Star State.
Texas will cooperate with the federal government on laws that mirror or are the same as Texas’ laws. When this happens, Texas approves of such laws and implicitly gives consent to cooperate with federal agencies.
“HB 635 is a completely sound legal framework and prevents the federal government from using state resources to infringe upon the 2nd amendment rights,” the bill document adds.
The authors of the bill indicated that the “federal government cannot force a state, or its resources, to impose its will – we have to consent, and HB 635 ensures Texas controls the conversation.”
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