Following the lead of Wyoming and Texas, state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) introduced unconstitutional legislation on Wednesday to make enforcing federal anti-gun violence measures a felony in Pennsylvania.
Metcalfe said he aims to make federal law unenforceable to protect Pennsylvanians’ “sacred personal liberties” from the “chains of government tyranny”:
Passage of my legislation will send the message that there will never be additional gun control, anywhere in Pennsylvania. Whether by White House executive orders, congressional fiat, or judicial activism, we will never allow the left to benefit from the wicked acts of murderers in order advance their senseless gun-grabbing agenda which would only succeed in replacing one of our most sacred personal liberties with the chains of government tyranny.
However, if Metcalfe referred to the Constitution, he would quickly find his bill violates the Supremacy Clause, which states that “duly-enacted” federal laws “shall be the supreme law of the land” and trump state laws. This means states cannot nullify laws or arrest officials for enforcing them simply because lawmakers do not like them, or even because they make their own determination that the law is unconstitutional.
While gun extremists’ response to sensible gun policy has ranged from states’ unconstitutional campaigns to calls for the President’s impeachment, other Republicans have acknowledged that nothing about gun violence prevention is unconstitutional.