Bill Would Make Feds Tromping Tennesseans’ Gun Rights Felons

Friday, February 15, 2013

A bill before the Tennessee senate would let the people’s elected representatives take a stand on the integrity of the state of Tennessee as a political entity. 

The boundary line separating Tennessee from other states such as Kentucky and Mississippi is delineated in Section 31 of the Tennessee bill of rights. The line at one point on the map is said to run “thence along the ridge of said [Yellow Mountain], between the waters of the Doe river and the waters of Rock creek, to the place where the road crosses the Iron Mountain *** .”

One can almost see the sunlight on the terrain in this survey. Such old-fashioned claims to territorial integrity mean little to the good people who run the federal union with its grand edifices in the federal district. Its armies fought a war disregarding the boundary in the 1860s. In the 1930s these same souls programmed an entire national economy to come to the service of big business and big government and to suppress the state’s agrarian and localized economies. 

Tennesseans are used to having lost the distinction that comes from being a free people. Yet, from the loam of Yellow Mountain and the chirt along the highway going up Lookout Mountain, as it were, there seems to be rising an odor of liberty, an earthy scent, a proprietary sense among the people, whose elected representatives seem to reflect what may be a new opinion.

A dirt clod tossed upon Uncle’s podium   

A bill offered by Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet, east of Nashville, has iron ore in its soul, perhaps a little mud from the shore of the Tennessee River. It amends the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act (Title 4, Chapter 54) to add fierce language. 

“This is just our response to amend a law that's already on the books to say that if any federal official or if anybody tries to take away our guns, we will protect our state sovereignty," Sen. Beavers tells a news outlet. 

Citizens’ bill of rights at Section 26 states, “[t]hat the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.” 

Indignant at exercise of lawless power 

The proposal before the general assembly reads in part: 

"The general assembly declares that any federal action prohibited by this chapter relating to firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition, whether made in Tennessee or not, is not authorized by the United States constitution and violates the restrictions contained therein and is hereby declared to be invalid in this state; that said federal action shall not be recognized by this state; and that said federal action is rejected by this state and shall be null and void and of no effect in this state." 

It goes on to say that “[a]ny federal action shall be deemed an intentional violation of state sovereignty and shall be unenforceable within the borders” if it attempts to 

— “Infringe on, ban, regulate, or restrict state government, local government or civilian ownership, transfer, possession or manufacture of a firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition” 

— Require any state, local or civilian-owned firearm “to be registered or tracked in any manner” 

— “Impose federal taxes, fees or any other charges” on any weapon in the state. 

Bill would turn Uncle’s employees into prosecutable crooks 

The measure would prohibit any Tennessee official from cooperating with federal enforcers violating the federal 2nd Amendment or the relevant provisions of the Tennessee constitution. Sen. Beavers believes the mood is so much in favor of a self-assertion of the nerve of Tennessee government and the free people it represents that she proposes making it a felony for anyone to assist lawless federal action within the state’s jurisdiction. 

The proposed statute cites among its authorities the 10th Amendment to the U.S. constitution that declares, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” 

— David Tulis runs, a talk show 1-3 p.m. weekdays at 1240 AM Copperhead radio. He covers local economy and free markets in Chattanooga and beyond.


Senate Bill 250

John Haughey, “Sheriffs and State Legislators Spearhead Growing Opposition to Proposed Federal Gun Control Laws,”

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