Sen. Brian Kelsey’s Bait and Switch on Gun Control

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1240175316-kelsey-dutch_treat-254x300Senator Brian Kelsey is at it again, trying to deceive Tennesseans on the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  After Kelsey’s circus-worthy constitutional gymnastics in favor of the federal government’s supposed power to take Tennesseans’ firearms away as he worked frantically to kill SB250, he now says he wants to protect Tennesseans’ right to keep and bear arms with his non-binding resolution SR0017.


Something about this doesn’t pass the smell test.

Kelsey’s SB250 Shenanigans

After watching the video of Sen. Brian Kelsey’s antics in two meetings of the Senate Judiciary Committee as he worked to kill SB250 – a bill that would have provided broad protections to Tennesseans against any federal scheme to register, confiscate, or tax firearms, ammunition or accessories – it’s hard to believe that this man cares one whit about the 2nd Amendment or the natural right to defend oneself.

In the second committee meeting, multiple people in attendance told the Tenth Amendment Center that Kelsey even turned off fellow Senator Stacey Campfield’s microphone to try to avoid counting his yea vote in support of SB250.  Campfield’s vote led to a tie vote with 4 yeas and 4 nos, keeping the bill alive in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  You can hear Sen. Campfield yelling so his vote would be heard even without the microphone in the video (at the end of the second video).

View the videos for yourself here.

We picked apart Brian Kelsey’s constitutional trickery both in an article and in testimony given by the Tenth Amendment Center’s own National Communications Director Mike Maharrey.  Strangely enough, Sen. Kelsey even purports to be a constitutional law professor on his legislative bio – just like Pres. Barack Obama.

What’s in a Resolution?

So, now that the vast majority of law abiding gun owners are fuming over Sen. Kelsey’s fighting to protect Obama’s gun control schemes, he decides to push his own “bill” against gun control.

Only it’s not a bill.  It’s a resolution – which has no force of law.

In the Tennessee General Assembly, resolutions are what they pass to congratulate little Timmy for making Eagle Scout, or to honor grandma for reaching her 100th birthday.  They don’t modify the Tennessee Code.  They don’t put anything into state law.  They don’t obligate the state or local governments to do anything.

A resolution does nothing.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.

Even the Knoxville News-Sentinel stated, “A resolution — especially one that faces a vote only in the Senate and not in the House — amounts only to a rhetorical statement.”

But Sen. Brian Kelsey is hoping you don’t notice his little bait and switch, which is an insult to the intelligence of everyone across the state of Tennessee.  He has killed a good bill that would offer real protection to Tennesseans and tried to replace it with a sick joke.

Kelsey’s “Solution:” Beg the Feds to Police Themselves

It gets even better though.  The resolution says that Tennessee will try to pursue a remedy in the courts.  So he wants the state of Tennessee to go whining to the federal government that is already determined to destroy the 2nd Amendment, and beg it to police itself and please not take our guns.

Yeah, really effective strategy there.  We all know how well the courts have been doing protecting the constitutional and natural rights of Americans over the years.

Sen. Brian Kelsey = Thomas Jefferson and James Madison?

Oh, but there’s more in the twisted story of Sen. Kelsey and Obama gun control.  Senator Brian Kelsey has compared his resolution to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 written by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson respectively.

You really have to question the ego of anyone who would compare himself or his legislation to the statesmen Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.  The notion is just laughable.  But I digress.

Kelsey: SB250 Proponents Just Want to Kill Feds

As if working so hard to kill SB250 wasn’t enough, while moving his resolution through the legislature Kelsey decided to insult the sponsors and proponents of SB250 and other 2nd Amendment protection bills with a real whopper, stating:

“Are we going to go out and simply start shooting people? No, when we have disputes we do not resort to warfare and shooting.”


Senator Brian Kelsey actually insinuated that SB250 sponsor Sen. Mae Beavers and law-abiding Tennessee gun owners just want to go to war and start killing off feds in the state willy-nilly?  Really?

His claim is sheer lunacy.  SB250 and other bills presented in this session of the state legislature proposed criminal penalties against federal agents attempting to take Tennesseans’ firearms.  There is NOTHING about open warfare and killing people in any of these bills, and it is absurd of him to imply that any law-abiding gun owner wants this to happen.

In fact, by this logic Brian Kelsey is claiming that every law enforcement officer who ever arrests anyone is just “going out to simply start shooting people.”  If police around the state aren’t insulted by that, I don’t know what to say.

Here is the simple fact: law-abiding gun owners just want to be left alone.

But instead of protecting Tennesseans, Kelsey would rather protect Obama’s gun control schemes on the front end, and then run sniveling to the federal government and beg them to police themselves after the fact.

Following Orders from Higher Up?

No doubt Sen. Kelsey is following orders from higher up.  In a recent Knoxville News-Sentinel article on what they call “crazy bills,” they note:

“Without referring to specific bills, House Speaker Beth Harwell has implored Republicans to steer clear of ‘fringe’ legislation. Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has lamented bills that are ‘a distraction.’ Gov. Bill Haslam has chided media for focusing its reporting on the ‘craziest legislation.’”

Our inside sources tell us that Haslam, Harwell, and Ramsey are behind the efforts to kill the good 2nd Amendment protection bills, and that Kelsey is more than happy to play guard dog for them to advance his own political career.  They think, along with Kelsey, that Tennessee gun owners are too dumb to realize that they have pulled a massive bait and switch and will pat themselves on the back for “protecting the 2nd Amendment” if SR0017 passes when, in fact, they will have done nothing.

Action Items:

  1. Kelsey and others cannot be allowed to claim a fake victory.  This resolution has already passed the Senate and has made its way to the House.  Contact your representative to let them know that you do not support this bait and switch resolution and encourage them to oppose SR0017.  If you need contact information or do not know who your representative is, use the “Find My Legislator” tool here.

  2. Contact Senator Brian Kelsey, Speaker Beth Harwell, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Gov. Bill Haslam and let them know you are on to their bait and switch scam and that you do not support SR0017.

Sen. Brian Kelsey – (615) 741-3036

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey – (615) 741-4524

Speaker Beth Harwell – (615) 741-0709

Gov. Bill Haslam – (615) 741-2001

Lesley Swann is a Co-Host for Tenther Radio and the state chapter coordinator for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center. She is a native of Anderson County, Tennessee.

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2 Responses to “Sen. Brian Kelsey’s Bait and Switch on Gun Control”

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