The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
We’re seeing more and more of this:
With gun rights coming under fire across the border in New York State, the Susquehanna County commissioners spoke out by resolution Wednesday in favor of the Second Amendment.
Republican Commissioner Michael Giangrieco said the issues in New York prompted him to address the matter on a county level.
He proposed a resolution stating that “any federal act, bill, law, rule or executive order that in any way infringes on our Second Amendment rights by attempting to reduce the private ownership of any firearm, magazine or ammunition shall be unenforceable in Susquehanna County.”
So, it occurred to me, “Can the federal government regulate guns at all? And if so, how does it derive that power?”
I couldn’t find anything that expressly authorized the federal government to regulate guns but had a sneaking suspicion I would find the authority somewhere else. And then I found this:
Congress derives its power to regulate firearms in the Commerce Clause, in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3, of the U.S. Constitution. Under the Commerce Clause, Congress may regulate commercial activity between the states and commerce with foreign countries. In reviewing federal legislation enacted pursuant to the Commerce Clause, the U.S. Supreme Court has given Congress tremendous leeway. Congress may enact criminal statutes regarding firearms if the activity at issue relates to interstate transactions, affects interstate commerce, or is such that control is necessary and proper to carry out the intent of the Commerce Clause.
Ahh yes, the Commerce Clause. The Clause that effectively ended state’s rights and allowed the federal government massive power over those states. In fact, the landmark case establishing such leeway seems to make Montana’s effort to try and skirt federal gun regulations by manufacturing and selling guns within the state outside federal control. Remember, that case found that a farmer didn’t have the right to grow and use wheat on his own farm as he saw fit.
My feel is that it was never meant that the federal government could regulate firearms in general, that it be left to the states. But that the states and local governments COULD regulate those weapons as THEY saw fit.