Citing efforts by President Barack Obama to stiffen gun control laws, Republican state Rep. Joe Carr has introduced legislation that would criminalize any attempts by federal agents to enforce bans on semiautomatic weapons or ammunition.
The Lascassas native also included a measure in the bill that would require the attorney general to defend residents facing prosecution by the U.S. government for violating any new federal gun laws – proposals that have not yet been considered or passed through Congress.
“In light of recent comments and actions taken by Obama and Vice President (Joe) Biden, I believe it is necessary for Tennessee to proactively promote, maintain and defend its sovereignty guaranteed to it in the 10th Amendment,” Carr said Wednesday during a press conference in Murfreesboro.
Although the bill has not yet been brought up for a vote, Carr said he believes it will garner strong support from fellow lawmakers in both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly.
The comments were made only hours after Obama urged Congress to pass a ban on what he described as military-style weapons, which would include the AR-15 rifle, and more comprehensive background checks.
In addition, Obama pushed for limits on high-capacity magazines and new gun-trafficking laws designed to combat the spread of weapons across state lines.
He also signed 23 executive orders aimed at strengthening enforcement of existing gun laws and increasing the flow of information between federal agencies in order to more closely monitor gun purchases.
In what he described as a “preemptive strike,” Carr said he has heard from numerous constituents who want Tennessee lawmakers to take a stand against any new federal bans or regulations.
“This most blatant assault on the Second Amendment by the Obama administration is a systematic effort to disarm the law-abiding citizens of the United States,” he said. “The Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, which was intended to protect the individual and the states from the tyranny of the (federal) government.”
Because any bans on weapons or ammunition would violate the Second Amendment, Carr said he felt compelled to introduce legislation designed to protect the rights of fellow Tennesseans, noting the Obama administration is attempting to overreach its authority with the proposals.
“The federal government,” he said, “should not be allowed, through law or executive order, to infringe upon our constitutional rights.”