Metcalfe Refutes Senator’s Nullification Nonsense
HARRISBURG — The following excerpts are taken from a letter sent today by House Republican Majority State Government Committee Chairman, State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), in response to a letter sent by State Senator Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia), which opposes individual states’ rights to nullify unconstitutional federal laws and, more specifically, Metcalfe’s Right to Bear Arms Protection Act (House Bill 357).

“Throughout our time in elected office, we have sworn to uphold and defend the same Constitutions: the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Constitution of the United States of America. Our position as state legislators uniquely situates us to enact policies that strive to balance the scales of the enumerated powers established within both Constitutions.

“America’s history proves that the states created the federal government and the United States Constitution; not the other way around. Therefore, as state legislators, we have the responsibility to hold our federal government accountable by fully exerting our 10th Amendment rights whenever necessary.

“The origins of ‘nullification’ ultimately dates back to the drafting the Declaration of Independence and our independence from the tyrannical monarchy of Great Britain. The ‘socially disgruntled’ that you referenced in your letter also includes many of America’s great leaders, such as the authors of the Virginia and Kentucky
resolutions, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively.

“As elected officials serving in similar capacities as both Madison and Jefferson once did, I believe we owe them a debt of gratitude, not a letter filled with blind subservience and unpatriotic rhetoric. I undoubtedly believe that myself and the 76 other co-sponsors of House Bill 357 are representing the best interests of the majority of Pennsylvanians.

“Advancing gun control measures, be it unconstitutionally from the federal level or through state legislative action, will not stop wicked and gruesome acts of violence. Feel good legislative policy proposals, including gun registries and “assault weapons” bans, are nothing more than irrational and emotional ideas that ultimately erode the freedoms affirmed in the Constitutions and harm law-abiding citizens.

“And, as Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.’

“Lastly, with regard to your weakest and most ignorant straw man argument against my legislation and enforcing state sovereignty through nullification and I quote: ‘Being part of the United States of America means we agree to being bound by federal laws set forth, whether our ideals are aligned with or repudiated by said laws. That is the essence of the Supremacy Clause.’

“Nullification of the federal government’s authority to infringe upon the rights of Pennsylvania citizens to keep and bear arms was already established by Article 1, Section 21 of our State Constitution which reads: ‘The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.’

“Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution makes it crystal clear that no level of government, especially the federal government, has any authority whatsoever to impose senseless restrictions on law-abiding firearms owners, or worse, to confiscate legally-owned firearms.

“The purpose of my legislation is to force any gun-grabbing federal official to count the costs of unconstitutionally disarming or denying Pennsylvania citizens their God-given right to keep and bear arms. If enacted, House Bill 357 would offer modern day Magnum force reinforcement that there is a price to pay for any future act of federal tyranny that seeks to leave Pennsylvania citizens disarmed and defenseless.

“I stand by House Bill 357 and our Constitutions.”

Letter from Senator Anthony Williams

Rep. Metcalfe response letter to Senator Anthony Williams

Representative Daryl Metcalfe
12th District /

Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
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