(The Center Square) – The Tennessee House voted May 3 to make the state a Second Amendment sanctuary.
The House adopted Senate Bill 1335, which passed a week ago prior in the Senate. It “affirms that any law, treaty, executive order, rule or regulation of the United States government” that violates the Second Amendment is unenforceable.
The violation would have to be determined by either the Tennessee or U.S. Supreme Court. Any official who would then attempt to enforce the unconstitutional law would then be subject to ouster.
The bill was headed to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk.
“Contrary to the messaging that’s out there, Democrats are not for taking your guns away from you,” said Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, while supporting the bill. “So let’s end that bad messaging that y’all are putting out there about us.”
Parkinson’s lone complaint about the bill was it didn't include an amendment, which was withdrawn, preventing gun buybacks.
“It’s only law-abiding citizens who show up,” Parkinson said. “It’s exploitation of poor people.”
Rep. Bo Mitchell, D-Nashville, said he hoped the legislation would not affect any federal ban on bump stocks.
Bill sponsor Rep. Scotty Campbell, R-Mountain City, said what would be affected by the bill could be determined only by either the state or U.S. supreme courts.
“I know what I would like to see," Campbell told Mitchell. "That would be much different than what you would see.”
Mitchell said he would like to see bump stocks banned, especially after the Waffle House shooting in Antioch in 2018 that killed four people and injured four others, and wouldn’t want the bill to stand in the way of enforcing that ban. Mitchell also said he felt the court would take at least three years to make a ruling on something like a new law.
“We don’t want to bury several more people because of bump stocks,” Mitchell said. “I hope every law enforcement agency in this state does their job and enforces that ban.”
While Senate discussion of the bill centered on whether the bill was nullification of federal law and whether that was possible, the House did not discuss nullification.