A little-noticed measure Texas lawmakers passed this year is a part of a legal strategy to remove federal authority from gun regulation, according to The Wall Street Journal.
When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed several gun measures into law this session, the one that got most of the attention is a law that makes it legal to openly carry a gun without a license. But another, less headline-grabbing bill was a law that allows Texans to buy Texas-made gun silencers, without a federal license.
Elizabeth Findell, a WSJ reporter, told the Standard that this little-known measure is the latest attempt by a state to sidestep federal authority when it comes to guns.
“Well, this is something that has already been tried. And some other states, similar laws were passed in Montana and Kansas, for example,” Findell explained. “And we’ve seen it struck down in other states…Federal courts found it unconstitutional, the Supreme Court declined to hear it.”
But now there are new justices in the U.S. Supreme Court who were put there by Republican President Donald Trump and gun advocates are hoping their chances with this strategy are now better, she said.
“They’re hoping that they might have a little bit more luck in the courts. The 5th Circuit is fairly conservative and the Supreme Court obviously has some new justices and is more conservative leaning as well,” Findell said.
But why the focus on gun silencers?
“Some of the folks involved with the bill said it could be a first step to other gun laws,” Findell said.