‘Come and Take It’ Gun Enforcement Bill Passes Texas House

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Come and Take It Bill
Credit: TexasObserver.org

House Bill 928, also known as the “Come and Take It” law, passed the Texas House on May 8. The legislation mandates that no state money can be spent to enforce federal firearm regulations that do not also exist in state law and is a push-back against proposed federal rules on firearms and ammunition. However, it does not penalize state law enforcement officers who help the feds.

The legislation was written by Republican Representatives Matt Krause (R-Arlington), Scott Sanford (R-McKinney), Allen Fletcher (R-Cypress), George Lavender (R-Texarkana) , and Kenneth Sheets (R-Dallas). According to Matt Krause’s website, the idea for the bill came from the works of Mario Loyola, In the article States and the Gun-Control Fight, Loyola wrote:

We know that federal law cannot require state agencies to participate in a federal program. We know that because the Supreme Court’s most important federalism case of the last 30 years – Printz. v. United States (1997) – tells us that the federal government can’t command the states to do anything. In fact, Printz struck down a part of the Brady Act that required state officials to process background checks on prospective gun purchasers. The Court ruled that this offended ‘the structural framework of dual sovereignty.’ In a classic opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court observed, ‘The power of the Federal Government would be augmented immeasurably if it were able to impress into its service–and at no cost to itself–the police officers of the 50 States.’

“It’s a simple bill that says that while we recognize the federal government’s right to enact firearms laws that overstep our state laws, we won’t be using any local or state tax dollars to help them,” Representative Matt Krause said to the Austin American-Statesman. “It encompasses the mentality of the flag that flew during the Texas Revolution. It tells the federal government: If you want to enforce your firearms laws, you’ll have to come do it yourself.”

The bill was approved by the House with a 100-31 vote. Opponents of the bill argue that it’s unconstitutional and could force a shutdown with federal officials.

After the bill moved to the senate, it was referred to the Agriculture, Rural Affairs & Homeland Security Committee, where it was scheduled for a hearing on May 13. Because Krause has not yet found a sponsor in the Senate, the bill faces a tougher challenge.

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32 comments
Don Stewart
Don Stewart

If people don't like the way we operate in Texas, LEAVE!  Don't use anything that Texas produces and don't use anything that comes in our ports to be distributed all over the U.S.

Simon Mayeski
Simon Mayeski

I think the word "shutdown" in the second-to-last paragraph was intended to be "showdown". An important difference...

Deanna Sy
Deanna Sy

Federal programs should be paid with federal taxes. State programs should be paid for using state taxes. Don't make regulations that you can't afford to enforce.

Robert Leo Rara
Robert Leo Rara

There's not much of a constitution left, they don't have to take freedom of speech if everyone is afraid to use it.

Richard Griffin
Richard Griffin

What's the problem? They clearly said they recognize Federal authority but won't allow themselves to be sucked dry on this by the giant tick we call the Federal Government.

Matthew Crockett
Matthew Crockett

Just because the federal government has the choice of non-enforcement (see Obama's decision on DOMA) doesn't mean the state government can Demand it. The Constitution puts the authority of the federal government higher than the states when it pertains to the same subject. A states-rights argument is, when correctly used, a question of whether the federal government ever had the right to decide. If you invoke any part of the US constitution (such as the 2nd Amendment), then the matter involves the federal government.

Nik Nikkel
Nik Nikkel

Yeah, if they are going to pick and choose, then let the feds pick and choose what programs they get money for.

David Wolfe
David Wolfe

How do they have time to create and pass bills like this when there is so much else going wrong???

Bill Oglesby
Bill Oglesby

Simple. Congress should pass a law that no discretionary federal funds for any purpose will flow to Texas if they do not enforce federal laws.

Joshua Snyder
Joshua Snyder

You are an idiot Paul Shiras. Just thought I'd let you know in case no one had informed you yet.

Paul Shiras
Paul Shiras

We fought a civil war over "States Rights" ...You lost, We are a Federalist government. The rights of the "Whole" supersede the Rights of the Few. Federal Law trumps States Law.

Richard Griffin
Richard Griffin

Love it. Texas shouldn't be forced into insolvency along with the Federal government by being forced to enforce its 1,000,000,000 busy body laws.

Rob Barlow
Rob Barlow

stupid. federal gun law does not override state law. The federal government only has the power we give it. Unless it is specifically written in the Constitution, any other federal laws are illegal & never need be enforced.

Silvio Renzulli
Silvio Renzulli

I just want to know why all you conservative types want a military arsenal? No one is saying you can't have a gun or a rifle, but why do you need a grenade launcher? Why do you need to own sub machine guns? Planning to go to war with all the non conservatives in your neighborhood?

Larry Scheer
Larry Scheer

sounds like it's setting up for the fbi and federal marshalls, like in miss and ala during the 1960's. federal law enforcement by federal law enforcement officers.

Kyle Cotton
Kyle Cotton

It's nothing more then political posturing. It does absolutely nothing as to the decision not to enforce federal law ask Colorado and Washington as it pertains to federal drug laws

Joshua Snyder
Joshua Snyder

Since Washington and California with MJ. And since our country was founded as a republic. A large all powerful central government is unconstitutional, and states have the right to decide how they spend their tax dollars.

David Alvarado
David Alvarado

Since when can one state choose to not enforce federal law

Alex Gauthier
Alex Gauthier

Texas is becoming notorious for butting heads with the federal govt. One of these day's its going to pose a big problem for Texans

Don Stewart
Don Stewart

@Steve Hecknauer you should kiss our Texas ass!!

Simon Mayeski
Simon Mayeski

Maybe so, Alex...hopefully the unrelenting demographic shift will soon remove from power those who regret the passing of the independent nation of Texas (not to mention the Confederacy) and are trying to live as if those two events never happened.