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Firearms laws: State or Federal?

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  • Firearms laws: State or Federal?

    Should laws regarding the buying, selling, ownership, transport, carry and use of firearms be kept on a "state by state" basis, or should there be a Federal law that would keep everything equal in all 50 states?

    It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

    Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

    "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier

  • #2
    I personally think a Federal Law. It would make it easier for the average citizen from State to State. The laws are so different in each state it is hard to know all the laws in all 50 states. Plus the fact you cannot claim ignorance of the law if you inadvertently break a law.
    In the Jungle, On the hunt, I am The Ghost in the Darkness


    • #3
      Shep, you love these slippery slopes don't you?

      Being in a socialist state (Illinois), I would fully support a federal standard, it would have to be better. It would also have the advantages that Lakotah pointed out. But what if the feds went more draconian than an existing state law? That is where the double edged sword cuts.

      I don't think you can make a blanket one is better call. I would be more in favor of a "benefit of the law" law. For example, if you were traveling, as long as you were not in violation of your home state laws, you couldn't be prosecuted in a state you are passing through. Stays in excess of 24 hours would have to be different, but for a traveler I think that would be a great way to go.

      "Do the right thing even if it means dying like a dog when no one's there to see you do it." Vice Admiral James Stockdale, NAVY PILOT

      "Honor, Integrity, Commitment to core values. When they become abstract concepts or "ideals", all is lost." Me.

      "Character is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking." J.C. Watts

      "I have never seen a projectile turn in flight and come back at the ship that fired it, I cannot however make that same statement regarding missiles." Me.

      Deus lo vult! = "God wills it!"


      • #4
        I always favor the states' rights so think it should be up to the states so long as they do not violate the Second Amendment.
        "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong." - Stephen Decatur, Jr.


        • #5
          I would support a Federal law as long as the 2nd is left in place,

          Its just to easy for a states goverment to be influanced by smalle group. After all we are souposed to be the "United" States and it seems like we are becoming more and more a group of smaller countries bundled together.
          What can I say, OD Green is my favorite color!



          • #6
            I believe the word is "lassiez-faire", it means total government deregulation. But when it comes to gun rights, what is there ot regulate its set in the Bill of Rights. I understand age limits and not giving guns to people with mental disorders that may cause them to go off, but those should be standard. These bans placed by states are unconsitutional and therefore illegal. But if someone broke those laws it should be the governemnt to catch them. No jurisdiction case and the death penalty.
            "O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War


            • #7
              Ewww careful on this one kids... This is where you might get exactly what you ask for, the cons of having one or the other could be terrible for gun rights.

              I support state to state, with a federal preemption, on what states can really dictate, and the federal government recognizing a state issued permit nationally.

              I fear people like Ted Kennedy attempting to dictate anything regarding a gun law. People like him and Hillary, who make statements to the effect of "Those are the exact people we need to keep guns away from..." well the statement was made when Thomas Jefferson's quote of keeping firearms in the hands of the people if for no other reason then to prevent tyrannical government.

              Here in VA the state past a law of preemption, that said the rest of the state, (all the counties, cities and everywhere within) can't pass a law more restrictive then the state law already requires. Meaning, I don't have to remember in Arlington when they have an outdoor concert and I am across town I can't carry in the entire city of Arlinginton cause someone somewhere in the city was able to have a beer in the street at the concert.

              I don't support locality laws usually because they tend to be restrictive for all the wrong reasons and usually aren't published very well and tend to catch legal gun owners on a "got ya" and usually the gun owner was simply unaware of the law that was passed.

              So, pretty much I like laws that say if your caught doing something illegal with a gun, we are going to lock you away for a long time.... but I don't like a lot of restriction period within state or federal law. As seen time and time again, when laws start passing they are usually just a slippery slope to more laws and the evental elimination of private gun ownership, as seen in the UK, Aus, oh and Nazi Germany.


              -- Poor is the country with no heroes and worse yet, is the country that forgets its heroes.

              Plan for what CAN happen, not what HAS happened.

              The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
              --Thomas Jefferson


              • #8
                Interesting legal question there. Who actually has the rights to regulate such things, federal or state? In a true Constitutional sense neither does. In the real world, governmental agencies have taken upon themselves to usurp our rights. Thus, based upon this premise, I have to say I would prefer state agencies to regulate such things. State government seems to be more responsive to the will of the people. If you "give" the federal gov. the "right" to legislate such things, they will most certainly go too far. I am fortunate to be living in Va. where I can legally open carry and transport a weapon in my auto ( two step rule) without any permits. There is also a law whereby local gov cannot restrict rights beyond those limits set by the state. I think any laws concerning firearms should be by referendum whereby the people as a whole would be given the chance to speak. It is supposed to be a gov of the people, by the people, and for the people anyway.


                • #9
                  The Second Amendment states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

                  The Tenth Amendment states that ANY power not specifically delegated to the Federal government is reserved to the States or People.

                  The Interstate Commerce clause allows the Federal Government to regulate trade between the several states, which means that transport of a firearm for sale across state lines clearly falls under Federal regulation and taxation, however transporting a weapon for any purpose other than sale becomes solely a matter of the states in question.

                  It is my experience that anything Federal creeps into nanny statism and eventually becomes "death by regulation". Just like it is technically legal to grow marijuana and own machine guns, but good luck getting the tax stamps for those activities.

                  The State regulation of firearms has been working quite well, when was still up it tracked which states had reciprocity with other states for concealed carry permits. In essence states are creating a national standard that other states (California, Illinois, Washington DC) can choose to opt out.

                  It is also clear to me that excess regulation in the form of unavailable tax stamps for machine guns, Firearms Owners ID cards, or the registration of firearms is a clear infringement on the right to keep and bear arms and as such is unconstitutional. The Fifth Amendment guarantees the right to not self incriminate, which makes firearms registration completely useless and therefor an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms.

                  As a conservative constitutional thinker I believe that the Constitution itself contains all the regulation needed by both the Federal government and the various States to tackle the issue of firearm regulation. On other issues, such as drugs, a national institution such as the FDA is clearly in the spirit of "providing for the general welfare" (something that benefits EVERYONE, as opposed to entitlement programs that only benefit certain individuals) so that before drugs are brought to market they have some review process to ensure some level of acceptable safety. However, the Federal Government DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to declare any drug illegal, that is clearly in the realm of the States as provided by the Tenth Amendment.

                  Whenever we talk about regulation it is better to be "laissez faire" instead of "nanny state".

                  "How you train is EXACTLY how you fight" Col (Ret) Robert B. Nett, awarded Medal of Honor


                  • #10
                    Just my 2-cents but I think the state to state laws are pretty dang clear out west... California: @#%$ you citizen, you don't need a firearm
                    Of course I think it's BS.
                    I think ya'll better set your own state laws and pray like a pilgrim that your states don't end up anything like CA.
                    There are already sensible (in most cases) federal laws regulating firearms. I think background checks via FBI database are just fine.

                    "I work with the customers so the engineers don't have to... I HAVE PEOPLE SKILLS PEOPLE!"


                    • #11
                      I would go for a fed regulated law. As it is now, as law enforcement, as long as you possess your id and badge you don't catch to much guff. The problem with a state by state or even a law recognizing your home state is more than likely you will still get into trouble and most likely charged until it gets to the DA and the homework is done to confirm what your home state law actually states. THEN you get into the problem that not only an out of state officer isn't going to know what your home state law is, most of the time there is a certain amount of uncertainty by most LE of anything outside of basic traffic/typical crime encountered. (Contrary to popular belief, the average LE is no more knowledgeable on firearms than joe-smo citizen) Just as an example if you asked half of our local PD what your carry permit is good for you would get a different answer each time. (and incidently that is how the decision to charge you is made also) And like the saying might beat the charge but you won't beat the ride.

                      At least if there was a universal and by all means "very loose" and handsoff fed law, you would know where you stand on having your firearm in your vehicle for transport and carry.
                      "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity" Sig Freud

                      "Political correctness is tyranny with manners" Charlton Heston

                      "Some cause happines whereever they go; others whenever they go." Oscar Wilde

                      "He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death" H.H. Munro


                      • #12
                        Im thinking federal, only because the constitution that outlines our rights isnt state, its a federal right? I mean shouldnt the constitution govern this for the whole country? I believe that's what it was set up for. So why should the state have anything to say about it to begin with?

                        Or atleast this is how it should be, in my opinion.

                        The 2nd amendment should govern all.

                        Politics arnt my strong point, so let me know if I am way out there with this one.


                        • #13
                          You nailed it Hunter. Any restriction on firearms is unconstitutional, except the age limit on buying them which is common sense. The only reason liberal states get away with restricting firearms is the statement they make saying that you can still own the firearms (they fail to mention the many loopholes and shady wording that is associated with these laws so they can bust you the first slip-up you make). The way it's set up is the government sets the base restrictions or the minimum amount of control, the problem being that states almost always build onto these laws (ex. upping the age limit, making people get liscenses for anything related to firearms, etc.). I'm still waiting to see what the Supreme Court decides on the D.C. gun case and whether we will see a rash of people suing states for infringing on the 2nd, which is what we hope will happen. The reason the states have a say is due to our Founding Fathers not wanting to take the chance of having a tyrant get into office and have another Great Britian trying to make us their citizens. They wanted the states to have a say, but they could not have foreseen what is happening today so it's not their fault, they were trying to keep what had happended form happening again. The only reason so many peopel hate firearms is they don't have to depend on them for survival. They can walk to the store and pick up some meat, they don't have to walk or ride miles in the wilderness to get to town and need a gun for protection. If everything failed and we had to revert to the old ways there would be a lot less liberals.
                          "O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War


                          • #14
                            You nailed it Hunter. Any restriction on firearms is unconstitutional, except the age limit on buying them which is common sense.[/b]
                            Hey Bro,
                            Where in the Constitution, Federalist Papers, ect. did it talk about age limits? The definition of what may be a "man" now doesn't necessarily coincide with the opinion in the era of our Founding Fathers. Not so very long ago in the history of this country, my Grandfather bought his first rifle from a local hardware store, when he was ten years old. He worked all summer for it, and no one thought it wrong or incorrect to sell a rifle to a ten year old, at the time. A generation later, and my Father and Uncles bought their first firearms at a fairly early period of their lives, as well. The experience served my Uncles well when they both served in the Army in Vietnam, one as a Medic and the other a Radioman. My Father tried to join multiple times, including under assumed alias but due to sever scoliosis was denied each time.
                            Be careful what you assign as common sense. In our time it's much less common then you would imagine .
                            "It's better to live one day as a lion, than one hundred years as a sheep", Old Roman Proverb.
                            "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know", Author Unknown.
                            "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!", Shakespeare, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Scene I.


                            • #15
                              People do not have the morals and beliefs your fathers had in their time. If we did not set an age limit the only thing it would eliminate is illegal gun sales to minors from street dealers, now they can by them legally. People don't have any honor or respect for each other and more, if somebody wants something they kill each other in jeolousy and rage. Lust rules and people think they can whatever they want even if it is outside their means. Criminals don't have any fear of the law anymore, they know they will get a nice cell with an air conditioner for the summer and heating for the winter, good meals and television. If we hung every muderer, rapist and child molester this country would not have close to the problems it has now. The human rights activist scream inhumanity at hanging and any form of capital punishment. Who was there to stop the woman from getting raped or the guy from getting murdered? These same people want the U.S. to help every country that has any problems as the United States falls apart from the inside out under their noses. I get disgusted when I see Angelina Jolie on T.V. with all those black kids she "reascued" from Africa. What about all the black children here in this country who suffer from poverty and ruin? The country that gave her and her husband everything they have now. Like I said no one has any morals anymore.
                              "O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War