Back in December, my friend Neil and I drove out to the Oregon coast to go crabbing. At the sporting goods store where we bought our shellfish licenses, there was a handwritten sign by the gun section that read, “Get Your Guns Before Obama Does!”
It’s a message that many gun enthusiasts nationwide took to heart.
Now the Times reports that Tennessee has passed a smattering of pro-gun bills which, among other things, allow people with gun permits to carry guns in public parks, in restaurants and bars (ahem, if they aren’t drinking. A-hem.), and to have a loaded rifle or shotgun in their cars as long as the ammo is in the magazine, not the chamber. Oh, but wait, it turns out ammunition can be in the chamber “for purposes of self-defense.” Whatever that means.
And then there’s the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act, which, according to the Times,
“says that firearms and ammunition made and sold within the state, and stamped Made in Tennessee, are beyond the jurisdiction of the federal government. The theory is that if firearms are not sold across state lines they cannot be considered part of interstate commerce and are therefore exempt from federal regulations.
Those regulations cover things like documentation on the sale and shipment of firearms. They also bar possession by certain people, like felons and the mentally ill.”
But don’t worry, because:
“Gun owners would still be subject to state laws.”
And those state laws are obviously stringent enough as it….well, never mind.
My favorite part of the article is this quote from State Senator Mae Beavers, a sponsor of the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act, who says:
“The purpose of this bill is to let people know we have state sovereignty and the federal government has no business telling us what to do.”
Yeah, screw the federal government. You tell ’em, Mae.