“The federal trial of a Kansas man for manufacturing and selling firearms and silencers without a federal license could very well turn out to be the pivotal case that not only challenges the constitutionality of the National Firearms Act of 1934, but also every federal firearms law ever passed in a battle that will determine whether it is the states or the federal government that has the constitutional right to pass gun laws.”
When Shane Cox began selling his homemade firearms and silencers out of his military surplus store, he stamped “Made in Kansas” on them to assure buyers that a Kansas law would prevent federal prosecution of anyone owning firearms made, sold and kept in the state.
The 45-year-old Chanute resident also handed out copies to customers of the Second Amendment Protection Act passed in 2013 by the Kansas Legislature and signed by Gov. Sam Brownback, and even collected sales taxes. His biggest selling item was unregistered gun silencers that were flying out of the shop as fast as Cox could make them, prosecutors said later. One of those customers – 28-year-old Jeremy Kettler of Chanute – was so enthusiastic about the silencer that he posted a video on Facebook.
But last week a jury found Cox guilty of violating federal law for the manufacture, sale and possession of unregistered firearms and silencers. Kettler was found guilty on one count for possessing the unregistered silencer.
The case could reverberate across the country because it cites the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, pitting the federal government’s right to regulate firearms against the rights of states. The judge overseeing the case expects it ultimately to end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
At trial, defense attorneys contended their clients believed the Kansas law made their activities legal, arguing they are “caught in the crossfire” of the struggle between the state and the federal government over gun control.
Cox and Kettler were convicted under the National Firearms Act, which is a part of the Internal Revenue code enacted under Congress’ power to levy taxes. The case raises the question of whether that taxing authority can be used to regulate firearms that stay within state borders. Advocates for state’s rights also contend such guns do not fall under Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce.
That the Second Amendment meant the federal government in Washington had no power to constrain or regulate arms was unquestioned reality for the first 143 years of our Republic, and then the Democrats of the 1930s, under the disreputable and dishonorable Franklin D. Roosevelt, decided that the Constitution and Bill of Rights no longer mattered.
FDR and his congress were bound and determined to enslave the states to the will of his federal government, and the National Firearms Act of 1934 was a direct challenge to the sovereignty of the states to make laws regarding firearms. It was also a thumb in the eye of the Founders who had clearly written the Second Amendment to mean that the federal government was constrained from passing gun laws.
That’s precisely what the Founders meant when they wrote that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” upon by the federal government. Quite simply, the Congress and President lack the constitutional authority to pass any gun laws.
Not a single one.
The only federal challenge to the constitutionality of National Firearms Act to date was U.S. vs Miller in 1939, which was uncontested when neither the defendant nor his attorney showed before the federal court.
As a result, we’ve never had these federal gun laws challenged on the fundamental level.
If Cox and Kettler’s attorneys see this challenge through the courts, we can expect it to arrive before a U.S. Supreme Court in several years time. It will be a high court shaped by the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, and the organization that spent more money than any other to help him win the Presidency, the National Rifle Association.