Complete coverage of the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature.

Texas Bill Would Make Federal Firearms Laws Unenforceable

Author of Firearm Protection Act says he has been inundated with support

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lawmakers in Austin are coming up with a plan to make it illegal to enforce any federal ban on semi-automatic firearms or gun magazine sizes. (Published Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013)

    Texans have loved guns longer than the Lone Star State has been in the United States.

    One Texas lawmaker is pushing to keep a possible federal ban on the purchase of certain firearms out of the state.

    Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, is authoring the Firearm Protection Act, which he says would "make any federal law banning semiautomatic firearms or limiting the size of gun magazines unenforceable within the state's boundaries."

    The bill would also make it a felony to enforce any such federal law.

    Toth told reporters that his phone and email has been inundated with calls of support.

    "It's not going to be hard to get people behind this," he said. "The level of excitement is already there for it."

    Gun owners and gun rights advocates say they like the idea.

    "I am definitely in favor of keeping our firearms, keeping our magazines, keeping the right to bear arms," said Tom Mannewitz, who runs the Target Master gun store and range in Garland.

    But Mannewitz said the bill has a long legal battle ahead.

    "I say power to him on that point," he said. "I'm not sure a state can override government, but if it's possible, I think he's got something working for him."

    Toth said he is aware of the legal issues that could face the bill but is prepared. He said he is asking Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to look over the bill for legal hang-ups.

    "There is this thing called the Supremacy Clause, but there also is this thing called the United States Constitution and the Second Amendment of the Constitution says that the government shouldn't make any laws regarding our firearms," he said.

    The full text of the bill is not yet available.