On Tuesday, I received an email from the Gun Owners of America, detailing House Bill 69, titled the Firearms Freedom Act. Similar to measures passed last year in Montana and Tennessee, the email summarizes it like this:
The Firearms Freedom Act has a simple concept. It states that if a gun was made in Virginia, and then stays in Virginia, then the federal government may not regulate it under the Interstate Commerce Cause. (Because, you see, the gun was never part of any interstate commerce.)
By gun they mean not only a firearm receiver but also the all-useful suppressor, a safety device the feds have deemed too dangerous for the average person to have, as it apparently protects hearing too well for us to use it. The bill is important because it is an assertion of Tenth Amendment rights against the National Firearms Act of 1934, which unconstitutionally requires a tax on and registration of certain firearms and accessories the government wants to make prohibitively expensive.
Anyway, back to the inbox. The GOA was in favor of the bill and encouraged the reader to be as well, listing how they can contact their delegate and do the involved thing of taking part in their own government. Later that day, I received two emails from the National Rifle Association, commonly perceived to be the “extreme” gun rights organization. The two emails also covered bills introduced in the VA House of Delegates, including House Bills 8, 26, 49, 52, 72, 79, 106, 108, 109, 152, 171, 236, 251, 475, 489, 505, 637, 870, 885, and Senate Bill 79, all removing various restrictions on the rights to keep and bear. Likewise, the NRA was against House Bills 520 and 879 and Senate Bill 268.
Notice anything missing?
The NRA doesn’t want to touch the separation of powers issue for some reason. I would guess that they feel it either detracts from their goal of being “on target” on the guns issue (sorry) or they feel it is a non-starter, that they can’t win when it comes to selling machine guns to the general public. Viewing it like this detracts from the main issue facing the nation, the one that touches not only the Second Amendment but all the other amendments and articles – will or will not the Federal Government be restrained by its originating covenant? If it will be restrained, then we must support HB 69, and any bill like it in other states. If the federal government will not be restrained, then why are we playing tiddlywinks with the details of what arms are protected by the Second Amendment and what aren’t?
Not backing HB 69 makes me wonder if I should keep sending them my membership fee. If they won’t put the money to good use, perhaps someone else would put it to better use.