State Lawmakers Are Really Serious About Making it Illegal to Enforce Federal Gun Laws

As Washington shuffles forward toward some sort of expansion of gun control (universal background checks, yes; bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, maybe not), state legislators in Texas are debating the optimal technique for thumbing their noses at the federal government.

On Wednesday, the House Select Committee on Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility considered two bills, East Texas Republican John Otto's HB 553 and The Woodlands Republican Steve Toth's HB 1076, that would make it a crime to enforce any federal gun law. As in, police officers could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor if they did so.

Offering his expert testimony in favor of the bill was Aubrey Vaughan, a Baptist pastor from Otto's district who heads Pastors for the Second Amendment.

"Joshua used the sword to take the Promised Land," Vaughan told lawmakers, according to the Texas Tribune. "Everyone knows about David slaying Goliath, and the Lord Jesus said to his disciples, 'Go buy a sword.' The sword is there."

Little known fact: the Greek word for "sword" also translates as "AR-15."

Also testifying in favor of the bill was one Monte Goodell who, according to the Morning News, based his argument on an animal metaphor.

"You've heard the analogy of the mama bear and cubs," Goodell said. "Well, I'm the daddy bear. Without the firearms to protect the den, you may as well put me in a zoo with the other bears that don't have a life. Is that what we want for our country?"

Maybe, but that's not the question at hand, which is whether Texas should pass a piece of legislation that would be extremely tricky to enforce (imagine a small-town cop trying to arrest an ATF agent) and unlikely to pass constitutional muster for the sole purpose of flipping a Texas-sized bird at President Obama.

The few dozen lawmakers who have signed on to Otto's bill seem to think so, though that has not yet been enough to get the bills out of committee.

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