Second Amendment sanctuary refers to resolutions adopted by some jurisdictions in the United States to not expend resources to enforce certain gun control measures perceived as a violation of the Second Amendment.
The resolutions oppose enforcement of universal gun background checks, high capacity magazine bans, assault weapon bans, red flag laws, and the like. Are there any implications to auctioneers selling firearms at auction?
Here’s some considerations:
- Per the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, federal law is superior to state law, and that under Article III of the Constitution, the federal judiciary has the final power to interpret the Constitution. Therefore states cannot enact laws in conflict with federal law even by citing the federal statute as unconstitutional.
- The anti-commandeering doctrine is thought to hold that the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program (and likewise the state can’t force local governments to help implement or enforce …) However, it doesn’t mean the applicable laws don’t exist, nor that the federal or state government can’t enforce them.
- States or other political subdivisions can require gun registration, licensing, permits, police registry, etc. However, the Supreme Court has held that no law in the United States can cause an undue burden on the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms. However, these entities cannot disregard federal firearm laws, nor create less burdens to ownership.
So let’s say you’re an auctioneer selling firearms at auction and federal law says purchasers of handguns must be at least 21 years of age. However, since that is a federal law and there is no local, township, city, county, state law which applies, and further the auction is in a “Second Amendment sanctuary” city, you sell the handgun to a 17-year-old.
The significant problem for you as that auctioneer is that you have violated federal law, even though no local official will likely notify you of such. More about this here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/15-things-about-auctioneers-and-guns/.
You can claim, “Without the Second Amendment, there will be no First Amendment” and many express that, but the Second Amendment nor the First Amendment is absolute. Firearms can be (and are) regulated, and your right to free speech and freedom of the press can be (and is) regulated.
Specifically, the Second Amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Of course the words, “well regulated” are included in the clause. Here’s more on how your Second Amendments rights are indeed infringed: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/firearms-guaranteed-and-not-infringed/.
Our First Amendment rights are also infringed as we wrote about here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/first-amendment-lessons-for-auctioneers/. If you don’t understand, don’t feel too bad — United States Rep. Jeff Duncan doesn’t “get it” either.
Are you an auctioneer selling firearms in the United States? It would be our recommendation that you disregard if you are selling them in a Second Amendment sanctuary jurisdiction, or not. as this has no bearing whatsoever on federal or statewide firearms laws and your potential liability.
Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.