Kansas gun case pits federal law against state’s rights

Handgun (KSN File Photo)
Handgun (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The convictions of two men who relied on a Kansas law to protect them from prosecution for federal firearms violations have raised questions about the legal basis for gun control.

The National Firearms Act is a part of the Internal Revenue code enacted under Congress’ power to levy taxes. The prosecution of Shane Cox and Jeremy Kettler raises the question of whether that taxing authority can be used to regulate firearms that stay within state borders.

A jury found them guilty of federal firearms violations in a case with Second Amendment and state rights implications that even the judge overseeing it expects to ultimately end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Their defense attorneys contend their clients believed the Kansas law made their activities legal.