Tensions are flaring between U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Kansas over a new state law shielding guns made in the state from federal regulation, reports the Kansas City Star. Holder wrote to Gov. Sam Brownback, saying the new law conflicts with the U.S. Constitution by potentially putting federal authorities in a legal bind. “Federal officers [ ] cannot be forced to choose between the risk of a criminal prosecution by a state and the continued performance of their duties,” Holder wrote April 26.
Holder threatened legal action against the state, saying the federal government would do what's necessary to prevent Kansas from interfering with agents enforcing federal law. The state is bracing for litigation. State Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked the Legislature for $225,000 for the next two years to defend the law. Swept up in a states' rights fervor, 31 states this year considered bills to ify federal gun-control laws discussed in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, says the National Conference of State Legislatures. “We are standing our ground,” said Patricia Stoneking, president of the Kansas State Rifle Association. “We are not only supporting the Second Amendment, but we're supporting state sovereignty here. “It is high time that this discussion take place.” Kansas is believed to be the only state to enact such a law, although a similar measure is awaiting the signature of Alaska's governor.