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Old February 23, 2021, 03:16 PM   #9
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 9,361
Originally Posted by steve4102
Is there any cases, or legal precedence that allows for Sheriffs or State LEO to arrest Federal agents for enforcing federal law?
The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name. (K'ung-fu-tzu)
So the word is "precedent", not "precedence", and the plural is "precedents."

In any event, State nullification of federal law is a chimera.
  1. The Founding Fathers provided in the Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2, emphasis added):
    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby; any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
  2. There's some 200 years of Supreme Court precedent rejecting State nullification of federal law:

    • United States v. Peters, 9 U.S. (5 Cranch) 115 (1809)

    • Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, 14 U.S. (1 Wheat.) 304 (1816)

    • Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. (6 Wheat.) 264 (1821)

    • McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316 (1819)

    • Osborn v. Bank of the United States, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 738 (1824)

    • Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 515 (1832)

    • Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 41 U.S. 539 (1842)

    • Ableman v. Booth, 62 U.S. 506 (1859)

    • Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958)

    • Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 188 F. Supp. 916 (E.D. La. 1960), aff'd 364 U.S. 500 (1960).

  3. The Ninth Circuit has specifically ruled against Montana in a "firearm freedom law" case, Montana Shooting Sports Association v. Holder, No. 10-36094, (9th Cir., 2013).

  4. A State may decide not to enforce federal law or assist with the furtherance of federal policy (Printz v. U.S., 521 U.S. 898, 117 S.Ct. 2365, 138 L.Ed.2d 914 (1997)), but a State may not nullify federal law; and the federal agents may still enforce federal law without a State's help.

  5. For an example of these principles applied to state marijuana laws, see Willis v. Winters, 253 P.3d 1058 (Or., 2011) in which the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that a Sheriff was required under Oregon law to issue a concealed handgun license to Cynthia Willis even though she was a medical marijuana user. But the Oregon Supreme Court specifically noted (at pp. 1065 - 1066, emphasis added):
    ...Neither is the statute [the Oregon CHL law] an obstacle to Congress's purposes in the sense that it interferes with the ability of the federal government to enforce the policy that the Gun Control Act expresses. A marijuana user's possession of a CHL may exempt him or her from prosecution or arrest under ORS 166.250(1)(a) and (b), but it does not in any way preclude full enforcement of the federal law by federal law enforcement officials...
  6. A Kansas law similar to the Montana law cited in the OP didn't work for Shane Cox and Jeremy Kettler who made suppressors in Kansas and were then were convicted in federal court in Kansas for violating the NFA.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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