Ohio Lawmakers Seeking to Make the State a Second Amendment Sanctuary

AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File

Ohio state lawmakers are pushing a bill that would effectively turn Ohio into a Second Amendment sanctuary, just after President Joe Biden announced an executive order expanding background checks, red flag laws, and other anti-gun measures. Predictably, not everyone is happy about the proposed legislation.

State Rep. Jean Schmidt, a Republican, argued that the bill is a response to federal restrictions that violate the Second Amendment. She testified that the proposal would strike references to the United States Code related to gun laws in Ohio. The lawmaker referred to recent attempts by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to classify legal handguns as illegal short-barrel rifles as an example of overreach on the part of the federal government. The intent is to protect the rights of gun owners by ensuring that only the state legislation is the standard for residents.

House Bill 51 would prohibit law enforcement officers and prosecutors from enforcing any federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, rules, regulations, statutes, or ordinances that further restrict the right to keep and bear arms. It would also stop local communities from hiring an individual who is an official, agent, employee, or deputy of the U.S. government or is acting to enforce restrictions on firearms under federal law.

The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association slammed the proposed bill, arguing that it would have a negative impact on the use of the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network and collaboration between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

“In Ohio, like in other states, law enforcement engage in a variety of joint task forces with the federal government that are made up of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers. Local and state officials can be deputized as federal law enforcement officials,” said Louis Tobin, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association while giving testimony, according to Just the News. “The cooperation and information sharing that takes place on these task forces is critical to law enforcement’s ability to remove violent firearms offenders from the street and to protect the public from violent crime.”

Journalist Marilou Johanek also took issue with the proposed bill. In a piece for Ohio Capital Journal, she referred to it as “a partisan copycat bill being shuttled around GOP-controlled statehouses as an impulsive publicity stunt to generate attention and put libs in their place.”

Johanek also argued that the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause “ensures that federal law trumps state law,” intimating that such measures would be unconstitutional.

Nevertheless, if Ohio’s legislature passes the law, it will go a long way toward protecting the Second Amendment rights of Ohioans. Kentucky is also set to pass a law accomplishing the same objective. Even though President Joe Biden has had trouble enacting his anti-gun agenda through Congress, he is still seeking other ways to curtail the right to bear arms. His options are limited, but this is not stopping his quest to make it harder for responsible Americans to arm themselves.

It would not be surprising to see other states become Second Amendment sanctuaries. Indeed, 19 states have already put these measures into place. In addition, many cities and counties in blue states have also adopted these policies.

Of course, it is important to mention that these laws do not prevent the federal government from enforcing their laws. But it does mean that fewer local police departments will spend time, money, and resources to enforce these laws on behalf of the feds. Moreover, they will not offer assistance for federal agencies seeking to implement these laws either. This is the type of action states should be taking, whenever the federal government decides that it wants to infringe on our natural rights. Let’s hope more states follow suit.

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