It’s no secret that Republicans by and large are not fans of President Obama’s new push for laws aimed at reducing gun violence. Most in Washington are using traditional means to oppose him — vowing to vote against his legislation in Congress, for example.
But out in the states, some Republicans have a better idea: they’ve decided to secede from any new federal regulations related to guns they deem to have gone too far. This applies especially to Obama’s executive actions on guns, which some conservatives have suggested could be grounds for Obama’s impeachment.
Leading the charge to ignore new federal regulations is Mississippi, where the state’s Republican governor and state House speaker took to the mics right after Obama finished announcing his plans and pledged to ensure the ones they don’t like don’t take effect in the state.
The Constitution is clear that such an effort would be illegal. Nevertheless, the Mississippi leaders say they have a plan.
From the Jackson Clarion-Ledger:
Gov. Phil Bryant and House Speaker Philip Gunn said they would block any federal measures limiting the right to bear and possess arms from being enforced in Mississippi. … State Rep. Chris Brown, R-Aberdeen, said he is drafting legislation to say that firearms manufactured in Mississippi would fall under state law and wouldn’t be subjected to federal regulations.
Earlier in the day, Bryant made his intentions known in a letter posted online. Bryant wrote that Mississippi lawmakers should be read to block any Obama executive actions that infringe on the right to bear arms. Once the list of Obama’s executive actions were announced, Bryant held a press conference in the capitol to say they don’t all bother him. “He isn’t opposed to background checks and enforcing laws already on the books, but he doesn’t believe in limiting the type of guns or ammunition a person can possess,” according to the Clarion-Ledger.
“When it’s for self protection, you need as much firepower as needed to protect your family,” he said.
And so the effort to block Obama’s gun regulations goes forward. It’s not an effort led by the fringe. Along with the governor and the leader of the state House, “about 30 Republican lawmakers and a couple of Democratic lawmakers” joined in the press conference. Here’s video of Gunn explaining that people in rural Mississippi need guns because it takes police a long time to respond to calls:
Mississippi isn’t the only state with with this idea. Texas state Rep. Steve Toth (R) said last week that his state can make new federal gun regulations illegal if it wants to. After Obama spoke Wednesday, he took to CNN to say that the Constitution is on his side.
“We will do everything in the state of Texas to ensure that as texas we follow the United States constitution. And if this government infringes on our Second Amendment rights, which gives us the right not only to bear arms but tells the government, the federal government, not to create any laws that infringes on those rights, we will do everything we can to push back against that,” he said.
In Tennessee, a Republican state legislator proposed a bill calling on federal agents who enforce new gun laws in the state to be arrested.
But so far Mississippi, which is putting actual legislative force behind a plan to ignore new federal gun laws, seems to be leading the gun secessionist movement.