×

Keep an eye on proposed gun laws

With the recent shift in the political winds in Virginia, it’s time to revisit the “Red Flag” gun confiscation laws. Since Virginia is basically our own back yard, I feel it’s necessary to remind the people of West Virginia about the fickle nature of state governments.

When the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act (Brady Bill) was enacted in 1993, sheriffs in several states refused to enforce it and sought to strike it down as unconstitutional. Sheriffs Richard Mack of Graham County, Ariz., and Jay Printz of Ravalli County, Mont., filed a lawsuit that reached the USSC. “In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled sheriffs weren’t required to enforce it because it violated the 10th Amendment.”

What exactly does this mean for law enforcement? Writing for the majority, Antonin Scalia said the decision was based on the fact that the Founding Fathers created a powerful local government as a check against an “oppressive federal and/or state government” Which is very much the case today in America.

Quoting President James Madison, he said: “[T]he local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere.” (Federalist 39) For those of you who think the courts have jurisdiction over local law enforcement, read on.

“There is no lawful authority for judges or a court to direct the law enforcement activities of a county sheriff. He’s not a part of the judiciary, and holds executive power and can set up a court, empanel a jury, and form a militia or posse to protect the rights of those he represents.” In other words, county sheriff’s have the constitutional authority and duty to protect the citizens, by force if necessary, even if it means authorizing a militia.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s going on in Virginia. The three bills in the Virginia legislature include legislation criminalizing the act of a juvenile using a firearm to protect his/her life, a friend, occupant or that of a family member during a home invasion.

A second bill makes it illegal, at home, or a designated gun club or range, to instruct another person, or family member, on the use or assembling of a firearm, even if for safety purposes or target practice. It also makes classes for obtaining a concealed carry permit illegal. The third’s basically a bucket list of firearms to be confiscated.

I urge our law enforcement officials, as well as the citizens of West Virginia to keep a vigilant watch over the state legislature regarding Red Flag and other proposed unconstitutional legislation, and keep a very close eye on Delegates Barbara Fleischauer and John Doyle who already tried to bring the Red Flag confiscation laws to West Virginia.

Both should be voted out of office and replaced with delegates who respect the Constitution as well as the citizens of West Virginia. They obviously have no respect for either.

R.L. Brooks,

Buckhannon