Wyoming state lawmakers are attempting an ironic rebuke of proposed national gun safety laws. On Jan. 30, the Wyoming House voted in favor of a bill that would exempt their state from a federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and would subject federal officials to misdemeanor charges for trying to enforce the bans.
On Wednesday, the Wyoming Senate Judiciary Committee recommended removing the provision that assigns criminal charges to federal officials, citing concerns that it’s unconstitutional. Under Article VI of the Constitution, also know as the Supremacy Clause, federal law trumps state law. While these lawmakers may believe they are defending the Second Amendment by protecting the right to own assault rifles, they are attempting to do so by violating the Constitution.
It’s also worth mentioning that it is not unconstitutional for the government to restrict certain types of guns. Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia ruled in Columbia v. Heller that, “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
Watch in the clip above as Alex Wagner discusses other states pursuing more lenient gun laws with the NOW panel.