Thursday, March 4, 2010

SB-11 (Utah State-made Firearms Protection Act)

The Framers designed the US Constitution to allow federal regulation of international and interstate matters. No authority was ever delegated to the federal government to regulate internal matters reserved to the States.

The interstate commerce clause of the US Constitution gives Congress authority to "regulate" (to bring order, method, or uniformity to) commerce among the states, or to make regular the commerce among the several states. There is no federal authority whatsoever to regulate commerce within any state.

SB-11 (Utah State-made Firearms Protection Act) draws a line in the sand to remind the federal government that commerce within Utah is none of the federal government's business. Unfortunately, this bill only addresses one small segment of intrastate commerce -- guns which are made and used only within Utah.

Utah now needs to take a stand against the federal government on all intrastate commerce. It is clear to me that when our local WalMart brings products into Utah from other states or from overseas, they may be "regulated" by authority given in the US Constitution's commerce clause. However is clear to me that when I go to WalMart to buy any of those non-Utah-made products, I am making an in-state transaction and my local purchase does not fall under federal interstate oversight or regulation.

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees that I have a right to possess and use that item within or outside Utah with no interference from the federal government. I also have a right to sell that product to anyone in or out of Utah who has a right to possess that product provided the sale is private -- not commercial. For example, whether I buy a camera, a set of tires, or a firearm from my local WalMart, I am making a local, intrastate transaction -- not an interstate transaction and my purchase and non-commercial disposal of that item is none of the federal government's business -- even if I use it or sell it outside of Utah.

While it is disappointingly limited in scope, SB-11 is a good first step. I thank the legislature and Governor Herbert for taking this step.

Recommended book:
The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution
The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution

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