State Sen. Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow has introduced legislation to nullify a national red flag law pre-emptively and threaten U.S. marshals and the FBI with arrest if they try to enforce federal court orders that stem from such a law.

In response to mass shootings, President Donald Trump and many others have backed a national red flag law, which would allow law enforcement or family members to ask federal courts to order the temporary seizure of guns from people who are a danger to themselves or others.

It’s not a solution to the problem of mass shootings, but it would be a small step in the direction of rationality.

In the defense of irrationality, Senate Bill 1081 would nullify any federal court’s red flag order against any Oklahoma citizen if the order would infringe on constitutional rights, including due process and Second Amendment rights.

There’s an element of obvious redundancy in that language, because it prohibits federal judges from doing something they’re already sworn not to do, violate the Constitution. The notion that a federal judge might ignore due process and strip an Oklahoman of constitutional rights, but then would stop short because the state had a law prohibiting it is, in a word, laughable.

Of course, a proper red flag law doesn’t violate the Constitution. It would balances the rights of an armed person against those of his family and society.

Not that there is a federal red flag law. The proposal prohibits something that doesn’t even exist at the moment.

Aside from those logical lapses, the bill prohibits anyone, including federal officers, from enforcing a federal red flag order against any Oklahoman. Anyone who does so is guilty of a felony, under the proposal.

So much for the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.

If you thought the United States settled the issue of state nullification of federal laws in the 19th Century, you were right. It needs no further examination.

SB 1081 is a bad idea, but, sadly, bad ideas have a way of becoming law in Oklahoma if they involve guns. The Oklahoma Legislature should protect Oklahomans, not guns. The first step in that direction is to ignore SB 1081. The second step would be to pass a state red flag law.


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