By Benjamin Goad - 07/09/14 10:58 AM EDT
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a Kansas law that claims to nullify federal firearm regulations.
The action comes more than a year after Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed the state’s contentious Second Amendment Protection Act, which has also roiled the Obama administration.
The Brady Campaign’s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Kansas, contends the law violates the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which deems federal statutes "the supreme law of the land."
“The far-reaching nullification provisions of the Act are unconstitutional on their face under long-standing, fundamental legal principles,” according to the lawsuit, which lists Brownback and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt as defendants.
Kansas is among at least 28 states that have sought in recent years to enact a nullification law in some form.
But the Sunflower State’s measure goes further than some, in that it would make felons of federal authorities who seek to enforce any federal “act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation” in violation of the state law.
“Neither the Kansas legislature, nor any state legislature, is empowered to declare federal law ‘invalid,’ or to criminalize the enforcement of federal law,” the lawsuit asserts.
Kansas contends it is the government that has overstepped in pursuing stronger gun regulations.
The law challenges the scope of federal authority under the Interstate Commerce Clause, in essence contending that Washington has no right to regulate guns that were made in Kansas and never cross state lines.
One day after the legislation known as S.B. 102 became law, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a sharply worded missive to Brownback calling the law unconstitutional.
“The United States will take all appropriate action, including litigation if necessary, to prevent the state of Kansas from interfering with the activities of federal officials enforcing the law,” Holder wrote to Brownback.