GOP senators pass pro-gun resolution to supersede federal law

Second Amendment March at the Capitol, Sept. 17, 2020 | Laina G. Stebbins

The GOP-led Michigan Senate on Wednesday adopted a pro-gun resolution that one Democratic lawmaker referred to as “four pages of dark insurrection-laden language and militia support.”

Senate Resolution 22, introduced by state Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) and co-sponsored by 18 other Republican members, claims that the state of Michigan does not have to adhere to any future firearm restrictions enacted by the federal government.

“We express the sense of the Senate that all federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms … are specifically rejected by this legislative body, should be considered invalid in this state, should not be recognized by this state, and should be considered null and void and of no effect in this state,” the resolution reads.

State Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) spoke prior to the vote and said the measure attempts to invoke a “dystopian free-for-all” and “challenges the laws of this land.”

“It’s a resolution that says, ‘If we don’t like the laws, we’ll meet you at the Michigan border with our guns,’” Geiss said. “… This resolution makes it clear that your Bible-thumping, Constitution-loving, gun-toting values seem to know no bounds to the right wing’s hysteria, including that of federal law. How dare you.”

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The resolution claims that any federal laws that put restrictions on gun rights in Michigan “exceed the powers granted to the federal government” unless the laws are related to the regulation of militia and armed forces.

Legislative resolutions are not binding and do not carry the weight of law.

Eleven of SR 22’s sponsors have actively participated in efforts to undermine the 2020 presidential election results: Theis and state Sens. Tom Barrett (R-Potterville), Roger Victory (R-Georgetown Twp.), Kevin Daley (R-Lum), John Bizon (R-Battle Creek), Dale Zorn (R-Ida), Jim Runestad (R-White Lake), Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), Kim LaSata (R-Bainbridge Twp.), Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway) and Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes).

After Trump supporters launched a violent Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, Geiss last month introduced a resolution to censure all 11 for their actions.

Geiss also noted that while SR 22 cites the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to defend its premise, it ignores Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that no officeholder who has taken an oath to defend the Constitution “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid to comfort the enemies thereof.”

“It’s incredible how clear and crass Senate Resolution 22 is, and it illustrates how much you value your bullets over dead people from this pandemic,” Geiss said. “Bodies that had to be buried or cremated, in part because of this body’s inaction and cavalier attitude about the pandemic.”

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, immigration and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).