Kansas Law Could Shatter Federal Government’s Gun Control Efforts

Kansas Law Could Shatter Federal Government’s Gun Control Efforts

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rifle silencer and the mount that holds it on the barrel

Now here’s a crazy story…

Back in 2013, the governor of Kansas signed a state law that makes legal all guns and gun accessories manufactured inside the state so long as they remain in the state and do not cross state lines.

This law also says that guns, ammo, and accessories made in the state of Kansas are exempt from federal government gun control laws.

Well, one Kansas man put the new law to the test by making homemade guns and silencers. Now, the federal government is coming after him

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – When Shane Cox began selling his homemade firearms and silencers out of his military surplus store, he stamped “Made in Kansas” on them to assure buyers that a Kansas law would prevent federal prosecution of anyone owning firearms made, sold and kept in the state.

The 45-year-old Chanute resident also handed out copies to customers of the Second Amendment Protection Act passed in 2013 by the Kansas Legislature and signed by Gov. Sam Brownback, and even collected sales taxes. His biggest selling item was unregistered gun silencers that were flying out of the shop as fast as Cox could make them, prosecutors said later. One of those customers – 28-year-old Jeremy Kettler of Chanute – was so enthusiastic about the silencer that he posted a video on Facebook.

But last week a jury found Cox guilty of violating federal law for the manufacture, sale and possession of unregistered firearms and silencers. Kettler was found guilty on one count for possessing the unregistered silencer.

The case could reverberate across the country because it cites the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, pitting the federal government’s right to regulate firearms against the rights of states. The judge overseeing the case expects it ultimately to end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

At trial, defense attorneys contended their clients believed the Kansas law made their activities legal, arguing they are “caught in the crossfire” of the struggle between the state and the federal government over gun control.

Cox and Kettler were convicted under the National Firearms Act, which is a part of the Internal Revenue code enacted under Congress’ power to levy taxes. The case raises the question of whether that taxing authority can be used to regulate firearms that stay within state borders. Advocates for state’s rights also contend such guns do not fall under Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce.

Kettler told jurors he bought the unregistered silencer “because of a piece of paper signed by the governor saying it was legal.” Before trial, he criticized Kansas for “setting up its citizens to be prosecuted” by the federal government.

Jim Howell, a former Republican state representative, said he physically carried the bill around the Capitol and got 55 legislators to co-sponsor the legislation, which won bipartisan support. Lawmakers knew when they passed the law that there was going to be disagreement on who has authority to regulate firearms if they stay inside the state of Kansas, he said.

“I think these gentlemen understood that when they made a choice to do what they did,” Howell said.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has intervened to defend the state law’s constitutionality in the first criminal case that has used the Kansas law as a defense. Schmidt said in a statement that buyers’ reliance on the state law as a defense is “reasonable, and it is consistent with the State’s interest in ensuring the Second Amendment Protection Act itself is defended.”

That state law says firearms, accessories and ammunition manufactured and kept in Kansas are exempt from federal gun control laws. It also made it a felony for the federal government to enforce them.

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As the article points out, there’s a good chance this case will go all the way to the Supreme Court. And if that happens, how will they rule on this issue? If they rule in favor of states’ rights, it could shatter all federal gun control laws in a single stroke.

And THAT would be a good day for gun owners.

30 COMMENTS

  1. We the people also have a God given right to protect ourselves and gather food with any weapon we see fit so therefore this government has no right whatsoever to take anything cause they didn’t give me that right my maker did so don’t try come and get mine

  2. It could also mean that states like Cal. and N/Y. could then renact it’s own laws on guns as it has already done. If another state can make silencers legal then it can also be banned in another state, It could work both ways,

    • That is why we must all urge our Congressional members to enact law that will repeal all state and local firearm legislation that unconstitutionally violates our God given and civil right to keep and bear arms. And, to prosecute all subsidiary government entities which enact or enforce such unconstitutionally illegal laws.

  3. but it will doom places like NY.,CA.,MASS.HA.,NJ.,the places with unconstitutional draconian gun statutes ,will be left out in the political wasteland

  4. Trump and the Republican Congress need to go after California’s, New York’s, and other oppressive gun law states and get their laws overturned. Constitutional carry ought to be the law of the land, and state laws liberalizing gun laws like Kansas, should stand, using federal statutes. We need to be as aggressive in this as Obama was in pressing his “progressive” (Communist) agenda on guns and everything else. Criminals using firearms should be getting a minimum of twenty years in jail. That would solve 99% of Second Amendment related problems.

    • Be careful what you wish for. What is “criminal” related to the use of firearms is not always black and white. The use of lethal force is always a judgement call and sometimes police get it wrong and sometime citizens get wrong. When in hindsight a jury or a judge has to decide, do you want them to consider all factors or simply have no choice but an mandatory minimum?

    • Jed,
      I agree with THAT thought because I happen to live in the COMMUNIST STATE of N.Y. which has one of the most CORRUPT Governors in the U.S. That LOVES to push “laws” through in the dark of night and of course all his corrupt SCUMOCRAT cronies vote for, and do anything he says. THAT is also why HITLERY “won” the State because we have one of the most WELFARE recipients (most in N.Y. city) in the country that were afraid of losing their “entitlements” When Trump got elected. (that may also happen)

  5. For once Kansas is showing they are of the Patriot background. They are tight in this but they are fighting the Ovomit Communists till Trump can slap this foolish law of there’s . Go on Kansas be our leader you had Dodge City and many more that helped clear the West.

    • Dodge city had a “city gun ordinance” that made carry inside the city limits illegal. There and a few other Western cities also had these

  6. Our Constitution states clearly that the only power of the FEDS are mentioned in the Constitution.. anything else is left to the States and the people.. The Federal law is that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.. That means not at all… All state laws on concealed carry and permits to do so are against our Constitution.

  7. Since when has a silencer ever killed someone? The silencer itself is not a weapon specifically for killing. Even then it is no more a weapon for killing than a rock. Are we going to outlaw all rocks?
    How about tree limbs? They can be deadly as well. Then there is glass. Should we ban that as a weapon if broken? I am amazed that people cannot think.

  8. The final resolution of matters discussed might well prove more than slightly or casually interesting. I assume however that we shall have to wait a while, perhaps quite a while, to see a final resolution of the questions raised.

  9. the feds DO NOT have ANY right to push or enforce ANY gun control laws/bans, PERIOD…THEY CAN GO F’K THEMSELVES…MOLON LABE…

    • I suggest while the unjustly convicted await their appeal, the State of Kansas enforce its law and prosecute the US attorneys and DOJ and, perhaps the federal judge who tried the case for the felony they committed in charging and prosecuting the defendants. And, how did they convince a jury in Kansas to convict. Sounds like they rigged the jury.

  10. The Constitution was written to LIMIT THE POWER OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. All powers not specifically mentioned in the Constitution belong to the States. Therefore, the States have more power than the Federal government. Over the decades, The Commerce Clause has been used by the Feds to overpower the rights of the States.
    It is time to return to the true meaning of the Constitution, with limited Federal government & strong States’ rights. Then the people can choose what laws they want to live under by moving to a state with laws that fit their beliefs, be it liberal, conservative, libertarian, or in-between. This is why the Constitution was written & how our country was originally envisioned & set up. Examples: Believe in recreational marijuana, move to CO. Believe in the Right To Carry + Castle Doctrine + Stand Your Ground, then move to PA. Believe the government should rule over you, your kids, & your entire family for your own good from before birth until after death, then move to NY. This is what our Founders envisioned when they limited the powers of the Feds by only giving the Feds the few powers spelled out in the Constitution.

  11. The FED’s better start realizing real damn quick who they work for before they get hung from the nearest tree in the town square! WHAT PART OF “…SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.” DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND? THIS FURTHER INTRUSION BY THE “FED” IS JUST ANOTHER STEP CLOSER TO ANOTHER AMERICA AMERICAN REVOLUTION!!

  12. This should be a litmus test for which judges get to stay on their bench and which need to be immediaely removed. The authority ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION is with the STATES.

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