To the Editor:
Thanks for your article in the Sidney Daily News posted on March 3, 2016. I was hoping for an opportunity to set the record straight regarding Ohio HB460, since ignorance is apparently alive and well in Shelby County.
HB460 does NOT invalidate, override, contradict or “nullify” ANY federal laws nor does it prevent the federal government from enforcing federal law. It simply prohibits the state of Ohio from helping the feds implement or enforce new federal gun control measures enacted after Jan. 1, 2016.
The bill is based on the long-standing legal principle known as the Anti-commandeering Doctrine, which has been consistently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court for more than 170 years (see Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 1842; New York v. United States, 1992; Printz v. United States, 1997; Independent Business v. Sebelius, 2012). Those who say that this bill violates the so-called “Supremacy Clause” of the U.S. Constitution are either ignorant or lying, as it does no such thing.
Several other state legislatures have passed similar legislation, including Kansas, Idaho, Alaska, Missouri, Montana and Tennessee. Roughly a dozen other states are currently considering very similar bills. In fact, the state Houses of Representatives in Arizona, Mississippi and South Carolina just passed similar bills (HB2300, HB782 and H401, respectively).
The REAL reason that people like Sell, Lenhart and Balling are “concerned” about HB460 can be found in your article: $$$.
Both Lenhart and Balling worried about what it might mean to local coffers if they elected to follow federal regulations that went against state ones.
“By complying with this introduced version, I could forego tens of thousands of federal money that could come to Shelby County,” Lenhart said. “The total operating budget for Shelby County is the same as it was in 2001, according to the Shelby County commissioners. This would be absolutely irresponsible on my part, and I believe a miscarriage of justice for the citizens of this county and the state of Ohio if House Bill 460 becomes law.”
In short, the Ohio General Assembly has two options:
1) Draw a line in the sand by refusing to help the feds violate the constitutionally-protected rights of Ohioans.
2) Tow the line and accept Uncle Sam’s bribes because federal funding trumps protecting rights.
There is no third option.