The Constitutional Powers of Congress – Firearms

To read the U.S. Constitution, use this link to the official federal archives:

To read Amendments 11-27 to the U.S. Constitution, use this link to the official federal archives:

To read the Bill of Rights, use this link to the official federal archives:

Powers of Congress

Article. I., Section. 8. enumerates the constitutional powers of Congress.
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;” read the enumerated powers via this link

Constitutionality of Acts of Congress

Article. VI., the second paragraph, defines the Supreme Law of the Land.

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

The key phrase is: in Pursuance thereof. Pursuance means “the act of pursuing“, “to find or employ measures to obtain or accomplish”. For an Act of Congress to be constitutional, it must employ measures to accomplish an Article of the Constitution, as amended through the process described in Article. V.

The U.S. Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, generally outline what an Act of Congress cannot do, that is to say, what it cannot do to violate the Supreme Law of the Land clause.

Pertinent to firearms, Amendment II dictates, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Only the states have constitutional authority over the personal possession and use of firearms, as per Amendment X, the tenth amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Unconstitutional Federal Bureaucracies

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF), Who We Are: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) was established as a separate component within the Department of Justice pursuant to Title XI of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, on January 17, 2003.


Only the states have the authority to regulate the purchase, possession, and types of firearms in the respective states. The ONLY federal constitutional authority over firearms is to not infringe on our protected right to keep and bear arms.

Texas Firearms Laws

  • Texas State Constitution, Bill of Rights, Article 1. Section 23: “RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defence† of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”
  • The Texas Penal Code, Title 10, Section 46, WEAPONS, Section 46.01, paragraphs 3 through 12 inclusive, define firearms. The 85th, 86th, and 87th Legislatures annulled some provisions, but black-powder handguns remain constitutionally not subject to Texas firearms laws — see Sec. 46.01., paragraph (3). The definition of Firearm excludes:
    • an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899
    • a replica of an antique or curio firearm manufactured before 1899, but only if the replica does not use rim fire or center fire ammunition

Personal Action

Contact your U.S. congressional delegation to demand the Homeland Security Act of 2002 be modified to exclude all references to firearms and to modify the name of the bureau of ATF to remove all references to firearms.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Published by John White

A lifetime (over 50 years) of experiences with automation and control systems ranging from aerospace navigation, radar, and ordinance delivery systems to the world's first robotic drilling machine for the oil patch, to process-control systems, energy management systems and general problem-solving. At present, my focus is on self-funding HVAC retrofit projects and indoor air quality with a view to preventing infections from airborne pathogens.

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