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County Commissioners in Johnson County, Indiana Vote Unanimously 3-0 To Ignore Potential Assault Weapons Ban

If the federal government endorses an assault weapons ban, the Johnson County commissioners want police in the county to defy it.

The commissioners voted 3-0 this week in favor of a measure ordering the sheriff to ignore and block any “federal infringement on the right to keep and bear arms” including restrictions on guns, ammunition and a ban on assault weapons.

The commissioners have to vote one more time on the ordinance to make it official. That is likely to happen on March 25.

David Orentlicher, a constitutional law professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, said the federal government can not make local officials enforce federal rules.

“Congress can’t make state officials do its bidding,” Orentlicher said. “It can invite them, it can give them incentives, but it can’t say ‘You have to enforce a federal program.’ ”

The county would become the second in Indiana to enact a measure that nullifies a potential assault weapons ban, said Stephanie Yager, director of the Indiana Association of County Commissioners. Franklin County Commissioners enacted a similar ordinance in January.

“What we’re saying is we respect the Constitution and the Second Amendment,” Johnson County Commissioner Ron West said. “We’re concerned about the government overstepping its boundaries and infringing on our rights.”

http://www.indystar.com/article/20130314/LOCAL04/303140066

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