More mandates, only this time it's from South Dakota. The State of South Dakota has just had a bill introduced to mandate ownership of a firearm by all citizens, legally eligible and over the age of 21, to own a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”.
The measure is known as an act “to provide for an individual mandate to adult citizens to provide for the self defense of themselves and others.”
Rep. Hal Wick, R-Sioux Falls, is sponsoring the bill and knows it will be killed. But he said he is introducing it to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional.
“Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not. But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance,” Rep. Wick said.
Unlike the Federal Mandated purchase of health insurance, this bill, if passed at the State level, might actually have some teeth. The arguments for the Federal Mandate often cite automobile insurance as the precedent for requirement of purchasing insurance.
While the ownership and operation of an automobile in most states requires the purchase of liability insurance, ownership of the automobile itself is elective. You don't have to own an automobile.
The Federal Government's argument for the mandate cited the "Interstate Commerce Clause" in the Constitution as basis for authority to force individuals to purchase insurance. I find it personally humorous that the Federal government would point to this clause, especially since you can't purchase insurance on an interstate basis, and the government had no intent to allow it.
All of this to bring me to the fact that Rep. Wick of South Dakota may find that there is precedent which allows the mandate at a State level and his bill may just find a way to become law.
In 1982, the Kennesaw, GA City Council unanimously passed a law requiring heads of households to own at least one firearm with ammunition.
The ordinance states the gun law is needed to "protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants."
The law is still on the books and Kennesaw has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
Clearly a state can mandate purchase of firearms, but not necessarily health insurance.
All of this may be moot, since a Federal Court in Florida handed down the decision yesterday that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is null and void due to the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate.