COLUMBUS, Ohio—An Ohio lawmaker is preparing to introduce a proposed “Second Amendment Sanctuary State Act,” designed to nullify any gun-control measures put into place by the Biden Administration.
The legislation, based on similar bills passed in Alaska, Idaho, Kansas and Wyoming, comes as several counties in Ohio have made similar declarations.
The proposed act would ban a number of steps that “might reasonably be expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership” of firearms, including taxes and fees, registering or tracking of gun owners, and gun confiscation from law-abiding citizens.
The draft language of the bill also states it is the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect Second Amendment rights, according to a news release.
State Rep. Mike Loychik, a freshman Republican from Trumbull County who plans to introduce the bill next week, said, the act, if passed, wouldn’t void any existing state or federal gun laws.
Rather, he said, the measure is intended to block gun-control policies that gun-rights activists fear President Joe Biden might implement, such as tracking firearms sold at gun shows and taxing weapons and ammunition.
Loychik said the legislation is not meant to be just a political statement, but rather a law to be enforced. If passed, he said, “any unconstitutional laws that are brought forth by the federal government that infringe on the Second Amendment, will be null and void in Ohio.”
One potential problem, however, is the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which states that federal law generally trumps state law. Loychik said that was a “concern” and that he’s looking into that issue with legislative staffers.
The name of the bill stems from “sanctuary cities” that pledge not to assist federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants.
The Ohio General Assembly, which is dominated by Republicans, has passed a number of pro-gun measures in recent years, including removing the state’s ban on conceal-carry on college campuses and several other locations.
In the wake of a 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine put forward a number of gun-reform proposals, including a voluntary background check process for private gun sales and giving authorities greater power to send people with drug or alcohol problems to a psychiatric hospital, where they cannot legally have access to guns. However, DeWine’s gun plan has so far gone nowhere in the Ohio General Assembly.
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