Photo: Senator Joey Hensley (R) from Hohenwald moves to have the Senate vote on Senate Bill 1335 in it’s third and final consideration.
Photo Credit: capitol.tn.gov
Published April 27, 2021
By Jon Styf [The Center Square contributor] –
The Tennessee Senate voted Monday to make the state a Second Amendment sanctuary.
Senate Bill 1335 says the state will not enforce any potential federal laws or orders that it believes violate the Second Amendment and will deem them “null, void, and unenforceable.”
The measure also “prohibits the state and political subdivisions from using public resources to enforce, administer, or cooperate with the enforcement or administration of any such treaty, executive order, rule, or regulation.”
Much of the Senate debate on the bill Monday centered on whether the state had the authority to create a sanctuary in this manner.
Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, said the bill was “nullification” of federal acts that has not been allowed since the days of Andrew Jackson in 1832.
“It is foolishness for we as a Legislature to claim an authority that we do not have,” Yarbro said. “Nothing about this will strengthen Second Amendment protections. It will be dead letter. We should pass legislation that will actually do something.”
Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, said the bill would be similar to what many states have done by legalizing marijuana, using California and Washington as examples, despite the federal laws making the substance illegal.
“Nullification is alive and well, and I am all for it,” Niceley said.
Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, disagreed and said the bill, which passed with a 23-4 vote, had “nothing to do with nullification.”
The House is set to discuss and vote on its companion measure Thursday. Oklahoma, Montana, Arizona and Nebraska have created and passed similar laws this year.