As courageous state legislators enlist in the fight to repel the federal government’s assault on the Second Amendment, the governor of one western state is telling a liberty-minded state representative to stand down.
Governor Gary Herbert of Utah recently called a pro-gun rights bill sponsored by a Utah state representative “an exaggeration” and encouraged the lawmaker to “adhere to the law.”
This is not the level of support citizens of the Beehive State would expect from the man they elected to lead their state.
Herbert was specifically criticizing a measure offered by first-term Representative Brian Greene (R-Pleasant Grove). The bill is titled the State Supremacy Firearms Act.
Patterned after similar measures proposed in a dozen states, the Utah State Supremacy Firearm Act restores the walls of state sovereignty protected by the Constitution. Representative Greene provided The New American with an advance copy of the measure. The preamble of the legislation declares:
It is the exclusive authority of the Legislature of this State to adopt and enact any and all laws, orders, rules or regulations as may be deemed necessary regarding the manufacture, transfer, possession, ownership, and/or use of firearms within the State of Utah, and ... any federal action which attempts to impose limitations on firearms contrary to the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, or the Constitution or laws of the State of Utah, shall be unenforceable in Utah.
Greene’s bill goes beyond simply restating the fact of state supremacy in this area, however. It criminalizes participation by a federal agent in any federal disarmament program within Utah. Section 2 B declares:
Any official, agent or employee of the United States government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, law, order, rule or regulation of the United States government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in Utah and while the same remains exclusively within the borders of Utah shall be guilty of a third degree felony, and subject to imprisonment not to exceed five (5) years and/or a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000.00).
State employees and officers are likewise prohibited from executing federal gun control laws:
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Photo of Gov. Gary Herbert: AP Images