You’re listening to a podcast on TheTruthAboutPolice.com website, which is sponsored by The Law Enforcement Education Foundation. Here’s what we learned today.
Did you know that the state of Kansas has a law called the Second Amendment Protection Act, in which if you make a gun within the state of Kansas, or a gun part, what have you, that it is exempt, at least according to Kansas state law, from federal law.
Now this question was presented to a federal appeals court earlier this year and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Wichita, Kansas, disagreed that the state law trumped federal law. Specifically the federal law called the National Firearms Act. Under the National Firearms Act, silencers or suppressors must be registered and you cannot make and market unregistered firearms if you’re selling them in commerce.
Apparently, what happened was Shane Cox and Jeremy Kettler were convicted of violating the federal National Firearms Act. Their defense was that under Kansas law, firearms, accessories and ammunition that’s manufactured and kept within Kansas’ borders are exempt entirely from federal gun control laws.
Well the Tenth Circuit rejected this argument. Writing a 47 page decision, it said that the federal gun law falls within Congress’ power to tax and noted that the men’s reliance on the state law may have mitigated their sentences, but not their guilt. It noted that apparently the District Court took their mistaken reliance on the state law into consideration when it sentenced them to probation and not to prison.
This is a very interesting case because Mr. Cox was selling his homemade firearms and his homemade silencers out of his military surplus store and he stamped them “Made in Kansas” to assure buyers that the Kansas law would prevent federal prosecution of anyone owning the firearms.
Mr. Cox apparently also gave his customers copies of the Second Amendment Protection Act, passed by the Kansas legislature in 2013 and signed by then governor Sam Brownback. Well, apparently Mr. Cox’s biggest selling items were unregistered gun silencers, which are supposed to be registered under the National Firearms Act. One of Mr. Cox’s customers, Mr. Kettler, was so enthusiastic about the silencer that he posted a video on Facebook of him using the silencer that apparently he had bought from Mr. Cox. It was this video on Facebook that I presume the federal prosecutors saw and indicted them both and prosecuted them both.
If you’re in the state of Kansas, the Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act is probably not going to serve as the defense if you otherwise violate federal firearm laws.