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A Useful Alternative to Firearm Freedom Acts?

With a lot of states passing what are essentially meaningless laws “nullifying” federal gun laws, or new federal gun laws, that are essentially symbolic acts with little meaning, why not look at passing something that actually might have meaning? I had an idea that perhaps we should encourage states to pass laws refusing extradition or warrant service on gun charges that would not also constitute a violation of federal law? In other words, if someone has a SAFE act warrant out on them, or they get pinched in New Jersey for, say, having a paperwork problem with an FOID card, no authority in the other state can act on the warrant, and no extradition is to be permitted?

Can anyone think of any reason why this wouldn’t work? You essentially cover the felon-in-possession issue with the federal law clause, so if someone has a gun charge in another state because he’s a prohibited person, the extradition could proceed in that case, but not in the case where the person was otherwise law abiding. I can think of several conditions that would satisfy people worrying about criminals getting away.

No extradition is to be granted, and no arrest or search warrant is to be executed for any person under jurisdiction of this state, by any authority of this state, for any criminal charge or civil proceeding relating to possession, carrying, transporting, transfer,  sale, or manufacture of firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories or ammunition components, provided that such possession, carrying, transporting, transfer,  sale, or manufacture of firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories or ammunition components:

  1. Does not violate of federal law.
  2. Would be lawful under the laws of this state.
  3. Were not used in the commission of a separate felony or misdemeanor, unrelated to possession, carrying, transporting, transfer,  sale, or manufacture of firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories or ammunition components, under the laws of this state or the foreign state.

Any state agent found to have facilitated an extradition, arrest or search in violation of this law shall be fined not more than $10,000

Am I missing anything?

23 Responses to “A Useful Alternative to Firearm Freedom Acts?”

  1. terraformer says:

    Can anyone think of any reason why this wouldn’t work?

    Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution…

    • Sebastian says:

      Yes, but is that self-enforcing, or does it depend on voluntary compliance by the states? Could the US Marshals arrest the person and extradite?

      • terraformer says:

        I have never looked into whether on the issue of extradition it has ever been litigated but the basic process should be something like state x drags state y into federal court and demands compliance with the extradition. From there, it’s a natural that the court would enlist the marshall’s service to take custody of the individual but again, there may be another process in place.

        But the point is, I see this as equally as futile as the firearms freedom act. I am in a state which uses errors on LTC applications to deny permits all of the time. This escalation scares the crap out of me. But the above won’t solve it.

      • Sigivald says:

        If we’re suggesting “just ignore the Constitution when it’s convenient [and won’t be enforced]”, I don’t think we want to go down that road…

        Might as well just tear it up at that point.

  2. fuzzyKBP says:

    Very interesting.

    Is “foreign state” reasonably and consistently defined in law or a term of art? When I read it I think sovereign states and wonder about the relationship between, say, PA and the UK rather than PA and VA.

  3. Jeff O says:

    Yes, article 4, section 1 of the constitution, the full faith & credit clause. It reads as follows:

    “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.”

    I would also spin this argument in another way: if they expect recognition to extradite, or they want recognition of gay marriages, then I want recognition of my state issues PA LCTF, just like a drivers license (especially if it was NICS checked instead of PICS checked).

    • CarlosT says:

      This is the direction I’d prefer to go. It is based in the Constitution and is simple and straightforward. If a state issues a carry permit, then the others recognize it, end of story. If a state says it’s a marriage, it’s a marriage, move along, nothing to see here.

      • Ian Argent says:

        Hence the argument that the 14th amendment allows congress to mandate reciprocity

      • Akatsukami says:

        But the courts have long ruled that a state need only recognize those actions of another state that are licit under its own laws. Thus, marriage has never been held to be a “full faith and credit” matter; each state is competent, within broad limits, to set its own criteria for validity of marriage, and is able to reject marriages recognized by other states but invalid in its jurisdiction.

        The flip side is that if a person commits a criminal act in A, and flees to B where that act is not criminal, the governor of B is not obliged to honor a writ of extradition by A.

  4. Jack (not Markell) in Delaware says:

    Also, the Extradition Clause of the Constitution (Article IV, Section 2): “A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, shall on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.”

    ‘Twas a big problem back in the 1850s, so ’twas.

    • Ian Argent says:

      Thanks for that – I was about to go digging for it, since I knew it was there separate from FF&C

    • Sebastian says:

      Is that actionable in federal court? In other words, can New Jersey take the case to the feds and demand extradition?

      • Ian Argent says:

        Wiki sez: “The Extradition of Fugitives Clause in the Constitution requires States, upon demand of another State, to deliver a fugitive from justice who has committed a “treason, felony or other crime” to the State from which the fugitive has fled. 18 U.S.C. § 3182 sets the process by which an executive of a state, district or territory of the United States must arrest and turn over a fugitive from another state, district or territory.

        In order for a person to be extradited interstate, 18 U.S.C. § 3182 requires:

        An executive authority demand of the jurisdiction to which a person that is a fugitive from justice has fled.
        The requesting executive must produce a copy of an indictment found or an affidavit made before a magistrate of any State or Territory, and
        Such document must charge the fugitive demanded with having committed treason, felony, or other crime, and
        Such document must be certified as authentic by the governor or chief magistrate of the state or territory whence the person so charged has fled.
        The executive receiving the request must then cause the fugitive to be arrested and secured, and notify the requesting executive authority or agent to receive the fugitive.
        An agent of the executive of the State demanding extradition must appear to receive the prisoner, which must occur within thirty days from time of arrest or the prisoner may be released. (Some states allow longer waiting periods of up to 90 days before release).
        Cases of kidnapping by a parent to another state would see automatic involvement by the US Marshals department.
        In Kentucky v. Dennison,[1] decided in 1860, the Supreme Court held that, although the Governor of the asylum state had a constitutional duty to return a fugitive to the demanding state, the federal courts had no authority to enforce this duty. As a result, for more than 100 years, the governor of one state was deemed to have discretion on whether or not he/she would comply with another state’s request for extradition.

        In a 1987 case, Puerto Rico v. Branstad,[2] the Court overruled Dennison, and held that the Governor of the asylum state has no discretion in performing his or her duty to extradite, whether that duty arises under the Extradition Clause of the Constitution or under the Extradition Act (18 U.S.C. § 3182), and that a federal court may enforce the Governor’s duty to return the fugitive to the demanding state.[3] There are only four grounds upon which the Governor of the asylum state may deny another state’s request for extradition: (1) the extradition documents facially are not in order; (2) the person has not been charged with a crime in the demanding state; (3) the person is not the person named in the extradition documents; or (4) the person is not a fugitive.[4] There appears to be at least one additional exception: if the fugitive is under sentence in the asylum state, he need not be extradited until his punishment in the asylum state is completed.[5]”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_law_in_the_United_States

        I wouldn’t expect the current courts to allow that discretion

      • Ian Argent says:

        For more reasoned analysis, go find a ConLawyer or ConLaw Scholar :)

        • Countertop says:

          Haven’t read the decision, but it’s worth noting Purrto Rico isn’t a state, it’s a territory of the US. As such, it’s rights and relationships to states are different than between one state and another state.

  5. Kirk Parker says:

    Am I missing anything?

    One minor error. That last sentence should read “Any state agent found to have facilitated an extradition, arrest or search in violation of this law shall be fined not less than $10,000”

    Make it a guaranteed hurt.

    • Sendarius says:

      I want to see something in there about “… said fine to be paid PERSONALLY without recompense …”.

  6. aerodawg says:

    I like the idea but doubt it would work.

    I think the best resistance on the state level takes the form of laws prohibiting state and local law enforcement from enforcing or assisting in the enforcement of federal firearms laws. That’s an action that’s well established as legally kosher. The feds have no legal authority to force states to enforce federal law.

    Without the assistance of state and local law enforcement, the feds are essentially toothless because they don’t have the resources to police the entire country. See CO and Washington with weed to see that…

    • Ian Argent says:

      That’d be a little more practical than this suggestion, to be sure

    • Archer says:

      What do you think of the idea to allow states to “license” federal agents to enforce federal laws within a state’s borders? Could it be paired with your suggestion?

      In other words, the state keeps a register of all federal agents it has deemed capable of fairly and evenly enforcing federal laws, and enforcing federal laws without the state-issued “license” is a state crime. Ideally, the license would be “may-issue,” based on the agent’s prior record (and/or how many licensed federal agent are already in the state), and the crime of enforcement without the license would be akin to impersonating a police officer – a C- or D-class felony (or equivalent) in a lot of states. Hell, you could even simply modify that statute to include this.

      Thoughts?

      • aerodawg says:

        Nah, supremacy clause is going to strike you down there. States have no power to restrict operation of federal officials..

        • Molon Labe says:

          https://www.facebook.com/notes/molon-labe-sittner/httpwwwpagunblogcom20140417a-useful-alternative-to-firearm-freedom-actscomments/698169043557457

          Section 2

          I. No extradition is to be granted, and no arrest or search warrant is to be executed for any person under jurisdiction of this state, by any authority of this state, for any criminal charge or civil proceeding relating to possession, carrying, transporting, transfer, sale, or manufacture of firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories or ammunition components, provided that such possession, carrying, transporting, transfer, sale, or manufacture of firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories or ammunition components if such activity:

          1. Does not violate federal laws that are not, themselves, in violation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
          2. Would be lawful by the laws of this state.
          3. Are not, following the acquisition of warrant and subsequent investigation granted by the warrant and determined through due process, found to have been used in the commission of a felony or misdemeanor under the laws of this state.
          4. Are not reported to have been or alleged to have been used in the commission of a felony or misdemeanor of another state in which such allegations are supported by probable cause found strong enough to affirm under oath and to be granted a warrant.
          5. Any state agent found to have facilitated an extradition, arrest or search in violation of this law shall be fined not more than $10,000 and shall be immediately dismissed from his agency and may not work in a law enforcement or similar capacity within the State of … in the future.

          Hang on kids, it’s a long ride…

          Or you could do what MO nearly succeeded at last year and is working on putting through, in a variant form, this year.
          Essentially, last year MO passed a bill through its legislature the first time with veto proof votes in which it criminalized the enforcement of federal regulations that infringed upon the second amendment. Nixon, of course, shot it down and, somehow, the legislature lost 11 of its previous yes votes resulting in the bill being for naught, that time.

          Fast forward to now. The new incarnation of the bill would make it criminal for any agents or officials of the state and its counties and municipalities to enforce federal regulations that infringe and would restrict agencies within the state from cooperating with federal agencies seeking to enforce such policies. This essentially leave the ATF and related on their own to attempt to ferret out, investigate, charge, et cetera, those in violation of federal regulations.

          Impotent you say?

          Consider this: in MO private sales of firearms are not subject to any processes of the state and there are no federal regulations upon the sale of a private firearm to another private person. IN other words, if I am selling you a gun in the state of MO and neither of us is operating as employees of an FFL holding business, you give me money, I hand you the gun and whether or not there is a receipt or bill of sale is up to us.
          This means that the majority of persons known to possess firearms in MO are those who have purchased them from an FFL dealer, those who sell to a dealer would be known to have had a firearm and potentially have others.
          Since, with rare exceptions such as Saint Louis city, there are no registers of gun owners on state, county or municipal books, those of us who have bought all our firearms from other private person are not known to currently own anything. FTR, it has a registration ordinance, it is not enforced and a great number of residents are not registered in the city.

          What does this mean and how does it manifest in the real world?

          Since the ATF has no listing of gun owners except those that have bought from FFL’s and they cannot be certain that those firearms did not have their ownership transferred privately, they would have fun determining much in the realm of private ownership in the state.
          What’s more, should a firearm be found to have been used in or for unlawful purposes, all they can do is approach the last known owner, i.e. the person who bought it from the FFL.
          Since he is not required to keep paperwork of the transfer or to have gathered any information about the buyer, they stand a reasonable chance of reaching a dead end in finding the last or current owner of the weapon.
          So, for example, if I modified one of my rifles to be full auto and recorded my firing it while keep my identity secured, the ATF has reason to seek me out. Should they manage to somehow identify the weapon, maybe I accidentally record the stamps in the video, they can find track it from the FFL to the buyer but they may well not be able to go any further if that person or any person in the chain of transfers leading to me did not create documentation of the transaction that identifies the purchaser.

          ^THAT, is the example of how it can be TODAY in MO.
          Couple the already daunting task of tracking down owners of firearms in violation of federal regulation with the prohibited cooperation of local agencies and now you have a group of tourist in uniform having no clue how to proceed in a case once their trail goes cold like that.

          Essentially, if it reads as such, in MO, should the bill pass this year, not having your imported rifle in 922 compliance will not result in any action by the park ranger who sees you with your pure original 56 AK or your other obvious imported rifle that has characteristics requiring such compliance.

          In theory, nearly any violations of the offending regulations would rarely, if ever, reach the attention of the ATF without their patrolling MO personally looking for such violations, all the while, they are without any support from any official entities within the state.

          Depending on the entire wording of the bill and the addition of state laws to address some situations, this could well alleviate the need to have an FFL in MO if the firearms are produced and sold in MO. It would allow MO dealers to forego the paperwork involved to sell to someone if the weapon never crossed state lines opening up a new demogrsphic of buyers for the shops, i.e. those of us who strictly buy and sell privately.

          OMG, the criminals will be able to have guns without restraint!

          If you are so naive as to think this isn’t already the case in EVERY state and, honestly, anywhere on the globe in which a criminal can afford to buy a gun, I can’t help you. THe fact is, criminals can find guns to buy no matter what laws and regulations you have in place, if they have money, they have firepower.

          MO is an interesting land indeed. It has nearly no state laws regarding firearms. You can’t carry one when drinking or using drugs and it becomes a felony to be drinking and to have the firearm in your hand.
          It is open carry per the state and, with exception to the rare few, that is the case throughout the state. The cops may not know open carry is lawful in their town but when they are challenged to find the law in their books, they’ll soon learn or they’ll soon have a great deal of misery heading their way when they unlawfully arrest someone for what is not a crime.

          Add in carry and conceal that is state wide and now who knows who does or doesn’t have a gun on them. Criminals have guns… and so do a great deal of those around them that they might consider making victims.

          Even more astonishing than that… more astonishing than the fact that the great majority of the state lives in little or no fear of armed encounters with criminals while the criminals live in fear of the greatly armed populace…
          the Democrats in our state legislature will find it to be a hard decision to oppose pro gun bills or introduce or support control bills. It’s nearly unheard of for any gun control bill to make it past proposal, less likely to pass a committee and, for me, unheard of for it to survive the vote to move it on.

          It isn’t, however, at all strange that when a rogue MO Democrat does such things as vote for or sponsor or propose gun control measure, you’ll find that individual packing up come next election.

          In the state of brother versus brother, even when you’re blue, protecting your collection of steel will turn you red for the moment.

          Now, if only this bill makes it past Dick.. I mean Nixon and we manage to have a manufacturer or 20 come join the others here… last I heard, we had a land owner offering a hundred acres to any maker for free to move their factory here… yeah, it’s like that.

          Essentially, what you proposed is similar. There is, of course, more to the MO bill but, essentially, it’s a we won’t do your dirty work for you and good luck doing it yourself, kind of deal.

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