Wyoming House Approves Unconstitutional Ban On Non-Existent Gun Laws

On Thursday, members of the Wyoming state House gave initial approval to a bill that would nullify any gun laws passed by the U.S. Congress pertaining to extended magazine clips or semi-automatic weapons. The move is not only unconstitutional, but it is thus far unnecessary: Congress has yet to pass any new gun laws for Wyoming to attempt to nullify.

Under the Constitution, states are not permitted to pass laws meant to supersede federal legislation. But state Rep. Kendell Kroeker (R) argued that since Congress has not yet passed any gun laws, the nullification measure did not violate the Constitution. “It is clearly a different case than trying to nullify something that’s already in existence,” Kroeker said.

But his colleagues apparently tried to keep the representative in check, with one pointing out, “If we want to make a statement we can do it, but let’s not let’s not pretend that it’s consistent with the Constitution, because it’s not.”

The bill was also amended to make it a misdemeanor charge for a federal employee to attempt to enforce federal gun laws in Wyoming. That’s actually an improvement from the original bill, which called for felony charges. It will now go to the Wyoming Senate where, with a 23–7 Republican majority, it will likely enjoy broad support.