HARRISBURG, June 17, 2013 – Sen. Anthony Williams decided today to go public with his behind-the-scenes battle with a state lawmaker over his controversial and inflammatory House bill that would attempt to nullify federal laws regarding gun ownership.
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe’s House Bill 357, if approved, would make any federal law that attempts to register, restrict or ban a firearm or limit the size of a magazine of a firearm unenforceable in Pennsylvania.
In his initial letter to the entire General Assembly, May 13, Williams urged fellow lawmakers to reject the legislation.
“The language and spirit used (in the bill) hearken not toward the brighter paths of Revolutionary America, but the darker shades of Antebellum America,” Williams wrote. “Wiser minds centuries ago saw it fit that we not simply operate as loosely connected sovereign states, but as one nation, indivisible, to assure liberty and justice for all.”
However, Metcalfe took issue with the letter and responded with a letter of his own on May 22.
“Feel good [sic] legislative policy proposals, including gun registries and ‘assault weapons’ bans, are nothing more than irrational and emotional ideas that ultimately erode the freedoms affirmed in the Constitutions and harm law-abiding citizens,” Metcalfe wrote.
Late last week, Williams responded to Metcalfe:
“As representatives of the people in the General Assembly, our duty is clear: to craft and refine policy that follows the dictates of our Constitution. HB 357 fails that test, and your angry words fail to present anything more than skewed ideological and unconstitutional ramblings,” Williams said.
“On legal grounds alone, the Necessary and Proper Clause allows the federal government to enact laws essential to carry out its enumerated powers. Ignoring essential elements of an argument does not invalidate them,” he said.
Williams said the conversation about gun control is “more significant than the usual antics of whipping out a flag and wrapping oneself in it.”
He called Metcalfe’s response “paranoid speechifying.”
HB 357 has been with the House Judiciary Committee since Jan. 25.