TN bill would charge federal agents for enforcing gun laws - WSMV Channel 4

TN bill would charge federal agents for enforcing gun laws

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State Rep. Joe Carr State Rep. Joe Carr
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Tennessee lawmaker is introducing legislation to stop the federal government from enforcing a ban on semi-automatic weapons in the state.

State Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, said his bill would charge any federal agent if they attempt to enforce any such ban that may be passed by executive order or by Congress.

"We've had enough, and enough is enough," Carr said.

Under his bill, the state could arrest and prosecute any federal employee for simply doing his job.

"Any official agent or employee of federal government who attempts to enforce this law shall be subject to a class A misdemeanor," he said.

Just over a month after the Newtown, CT, school shooting, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he believes Congress should pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The universal background checks would mean even buyers at gun shows would be screened through a federal database before a purchase could go through.

Obama also signed 23 executive orders to make more data available for background checks, appoint a director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and direct the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence.

At Guns and Leather in Hendersonville, owner Dennis Williams said Wednesday's new shipment of ammo won't last long.

"If we get in 10 cases, 10 cases sell," Williams said.

Sales have been swift for weeks as inventory flies off the shelves at gun stores across Middle Tennessee.

Assault-style weapons are sold out, and Williams said the president's announcement came across to his customers as nothing new.

"The calls for an assault weapon ban, that's old hat," he said.

But whether Tennessee can legally block federal law from taking effect remains to be seen. Similar bills have also been filed in Wyoming, Texas, South Carolina, Alabama and Missouri.

"It's our attempt to push back on the federal government 's ever-increasing encroachment, not only on our personal liberties but on our state sovereignty," Carr said.

The Tennessee Democratic party called Carr's proposal "disgraceful and self-serving" and "an extreme side show." The party's statement said Carr's plan is "legally suspect."

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander was in Nashville Wednesday and spoke before the president's announcement, pointing the blame in another area.

"One of the major concerns I have is the violent video games. For 20 years, I've been talking about that. You have kids in the basement for five hours a day practicing killing people," Alexander said.

Alexander went on to say that he recognized the First Amendment restrictions of any kind of video game violence legislation. Instead of action in Congress, he said, it's more of a community and parental issue - that people need to know what their kids are playing.

Overall, representatives from Tennessee have a hands-off attitude when it comes to gun control.

In fact, the NRA, which grades members of Congress on their support for the right to keep and bear arms gives an "A" rating to Sen. Alexander, and Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Diane Black, Scott DesJarlais, Stephen Fincher, Chuck Fleischman, John Duncan Jr. and Phil Roe - all Republicans.

The NRA gives Democratic Reps. Jim Cooper, of Nashville, a "C" and Steve Cohen, of Memphis, an "F."

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