Gone A-Whaling: The Lure of the Sea and the Hunt for the

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The federal power to regulate interstate commerce (buying and selling things across state lines) and the power to tax have been twisted into a general police power to legislate on almost any subject--including the power to ban the simple possession of firearms by various classes of persons. (750) Thus, the exercise of power which can be found nowhere in the text of the Constitution has become commonplace: the President announces that gun store owners must post or distribute antigun statements in their stores. (751) Executive branch officials in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) from time to time announce that an additional type of weapon has been subjected to near-prohibitory federal controls, thanks to BATF's reinterpretation of a statute or regulation. (752) The Federal Trade Commission, meanwhile, is seriously contemplating a request that it issue an order prohibiting gun manufacturers from mentioning self-defense in their advertising. (753) All this is normal constitutional law in the late twentieth century, but the nineteenth century commentators bring us back to first principles and remind us that all this federal "law-making" about guns is not really law-making at all.

Pages: 208

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 24, 2004)

ISBN: 0618432434

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