A Texas lawmaker said this week that he’s worried about “King Obama” infringing on the Constitution when it comes to firearms, so he’s preparing legislation that he hopes will protect the state’s weapon hordes.
State Rep. Steve Toth (R), a self proclaimed tea partier, told a reporter for Texas news radio 1200 WOAI that his Firearms Protection Act would make it a felony to enforce any federal law that restricts magazine size or prohibits ownership of semi-automatic weapons.
“If a federal official comes into the state of Texas to enforce the federal executive order, that person is subject to criminal prosecution,” he reportedly said. “At some point there needs to be a showdown between the states and the federal government over the Supremacy Clause. It’s our responsibility to push back when those laws are infringed by King Obama.”
Toth is not the only Republican lawmaker to file a bill attempting to get ahead of federal efforts to prevent future school massacres like the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Wyoming State Rep. Kendell Kroeker (R) put forward a similar bill last week as a reaction to Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that President Barack Obama intends to take executive action on gun control where possible.
Of course, even if fellow Republicans pass these bills into law, neither has much of a chance at standing up in court. Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution designates that federal law is the supreme law of the land, superseding state laws and even state constitutions.
It’s not clear what exactly the president intends to do, as the proposals put together by the vice president have not yet been announced. While an assault weapons ban is not legally possible without congressional authorization, there are a series of actions Obama can take — like improving mental health databases or prohibiting certain weapons from being imported into the U.S. — that would not require more than a stroke of his pen.
The administration’s course of action will be announced later on Wednesday, according to White House officials.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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