TN lawmaker wants tougher law protecting guns - WSMV Channel 4

TN lawmaker wants tougher law protecting guns

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Many states have talked in recent weeks about new gun laws, but one Tennessee law is already on the books that allows for federal agents to be arrested for enforcing firearm laws in the state.

Now, one state lawmaker wants to make violations of that law a felony.

The Firearms Freedom Act of 2009 lets local police arrest FBI, ATF or any other federal agent attempting to confiscate certain weapons.

State Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, who sponsored that bill, said while it didn't get much attention at the time, it sure is today.

"People are wanting to buy guns now. They are fearful our guns are going to be taken away. This gives Tennessee protections as far as federal agents coming in Tennessee to confiscate our guns," Beavers said.

Beavers now wants any attempt by the feds to take guns away from Tennesseans a felony - a serious crime with jail time that could pit federal law enforcement against local law enforcement.

"The Second Amendment is there for a reason, and the reason is to protect us from a government that's gone crazy," Beavers said.

When the Firearms Freedom Act passed in 2009, the ATF sent out letters to gun dealers, warning them to continue to follow the federal Gun Control Act or risk their business license.

Now, this fight is getting bigger as other states have begun to say the president is overstepping his powers. Lawmakers in Wyoming, Montana, Texas and elsewhere are considering similar laws.

"The biggest problem in my mind is what part of the constitution gives the president or Congress that power? As far as I'm concerned, he has a narrow scope of power, and if he steps outside of that he has violated the constitution," said John Harris, director of the Tennessee Firearms Association.

Supporters say you could draw a comparison between Colorado marijuana laws and these Tennessee gun laws.

Both cases are similar in the sense that states are saying "stay out of our in-state business," because it's the states that make their own criminal laws and enforce those laws.

Federal criminal laws must involve interstate commerce.

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