Brady Center Launches Legal Attack on Kansas Gun Grab Nullification

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
07/14/2014
       
Brady Center Launches Legal Attack on Kansas Gun Grab Nullification

The people of the state of Kansas are under attack and the weapon being deployed is aimed at depriving them of their right to keep and bear arms, and their right to enact state laws protecting that right.

On Wednesday, July 9, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas challenging a law passed last year by the Kansas state legislature and signed immediately by Governor Sam Brownback.

On April 16, 2013, Governor Brownback signed the bill purporting to safeguard the constitutionally protected right of Kansans to keep and bear arms.

Titled the Second Amendment Protection Act, SB 102 declares:

The second amendment to the constitution of the United States reserves to the people, individually, the right to keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time that Kansas was admitted to statehood in 1861, and the guaranty of that right is a matter of contract between the state and people of Kansas and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Kansas in 1859 and the United States in 1861.

In its complaint, the Brady Center argues that the bill violates the Constitution and requests that the court order Brownback and the Kansas state attorney general to “strike down” the law.

"Kansas’ gun nullification law is not just bad public policy, it is patently unconstitutional," said Jonathan Lowy, director of the Brady Center's Legal Action Project in Washington, D.C. "Courts have recognized for years that states cannot just declare ‘null and void’ federal laws they do not like or wish to enforce.”

“Just as Southern states were not allowed to opt-out of federal civil rights laws, the constitution does not allow Kansas or any other state to nullify federal gun laws that protect Kansans and all Americans from gun violence," Lowy added.

For his part, state Attorney General Derek Schmidt promises to defend the Kansas state law — a law that itself defends the constitutionally protected rights of Kansans. 

"This law has been in effect, unchanged, for more than a year, and the timing and tone of this election-year lawsuit are obviously political," Schmidt said, as quoted in the Topeka Capital-Journal. "We are reviewing the complaint and will respond in due course and in the proper legal forum.”

Governor Brownback sees in the filing of the lawsuit but another in a long line of attacks by President Barack Obama on the Second Amendment and civil gun ownership.

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