So Texas made Silencers Legal

I noticed that the Texas legislature passed a law legalizing silencers in Texas.  The idea behind it is that if a silencer – technically I think suppressor is a better term – is made in Texas, sold in Texas, and used in Texas, it isn’t a part of interstate commerce, so can’t be federally regulated.

Now I recollect a Supreme Court Case called Wickard v Filburn.  In 1941, Roscoe Filburn planted 23 acres in wheat, when his wheat allotment was only 11 acres.  When the feds caught him, his argument was that he was using it all on his farm and it never entered interstate commerce.  Wickard lost – in District Court and the Supreme Court.  I know this because back in 1964,  Dad had several hundred pounds of wheat, we were in the habit of planting small grains for one year as part of the seeding rotation for replanting hay ground, and I was instructed to plant the wheat behind the trees where nobody could see it from the road, driving past. 

I researched the topic in the LCHS library – Mr. Swanberg was the librarian then – and learned that, just because Wickard’s argument made sense to me, the Supreme Court had ruled otherwise.  Two sacks of oats put a screen over the part of the field that could be seen from the road, and we violated Federal law, and put up five or six acres of wheat as hay.  Kind of a libertarian concept there.

Silencers in Texas – in 2014 Kansas had the same sort of law.  It created a couple of federal felons who had thought the state law covered them.  Supreme Court wouldn’t even hear their case.  Gonzales v Raich, back in 2005 dealt with marijuana raised in California, marketed in California, and smoked in California.  So much for medical marijuana.

Peanut allotment, tobacco allotment, gun parts, machine guns, marijuana – the individual states may decide to rule all these items legal if used exclusively in the state.  The thing is, so long as the Supreme Court says that it’s interstate commerce, federal law trumps state laws.  A Texan who builds or buys a Texas-made silencer is still in the sights for a federal felony conviction.

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