Do Sanctuary Gun Laws Disqualify States from Receiving Federal Wildlife Management Funds?

Do Sanctuary Gun Laws Disqualify States from Receiving Federal Wildlife Management Funds?

In Arkansas last month, Senate Bill 298 was steaming through the legislature, passing the Senate by a vote of 28-7 and the House by an even more impressive majority, 76-18. The bill, with the nondescript title of the “Arkansas Sovereignty Act of 2021” was well on its way to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk for near-certain signature. The subtitle of SB 298, one of a dozen nearly identical bills introduced in state legislatures around the nation this year, got a little closer to its intent: “Concerning the Right to Bear Arms in the State of Arkansas; and Concerning Other Constitutional Rights.” Proponents, including a wide range of pro-gun organizations, heralded it as an insurance policy asserting states’ rights to protect Arkansans’ firearms owners in case President Biden and congressional Democrats make good on their pledge to impose wide-ranging gun restrictions. Among other things, the Arkansas version of the bill would nullify federal firearms regulations in the state, including the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968 , which limits ownership of certain categories of firearms, including machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and suppressors. But the bill also intended to nullify “any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services that could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens.” When he read that language, Chris Colclasure, deputy director of Arkansas Fish and Game Commission, immediately alerted his budget and […]

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