Yahoo Answers is shutting down on May 4th, 2021 (Eastern Time) and beginning April 20th, 2021 (Eastern Time) the Yahoo Answers website will be in read-only mode. There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account. You can find more information about the Yahoo Answers shutdown and how to download your data on this help page.

Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 1 decade ago

Does federal law superced state law?

I was in federal prison in Estill South Carolina back in '2000 with a guy named Johnny Gibson the feds raided his house in North Carolina looking for drugs but none were found. The feds found firearms legally registerd to him and charged him as a convicted felon in possesion of a firearm. But from his and my understanding he could legally own and possess those firearms pursuant to North Carolina law after completion of so many years probation/ parole. To my knowledge he is still serving ten years for doing what he thought was legal under the law of his state yet the feds convicted him. From what I have seen federal law does supercede state law because it's intent is to govern the states. If this is the case then why does so many states vary on issues and then send innocent or unknowing citizens to federal prison.Anyone interested in discussing this topic with me or the one regarding Bounty Hunter DOG CHATMan carrying mase please contact me via messeger at jsweat2007.

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If Mr. Gibson was convicted on federal charges, did time in Fed prison, then he must go by the federal laws concerning excons and gun ownership. So, in this instance, yes, the federal law would supercede what NC state said. If he was convicted of crimes against the state of NC, served time, and was now out, he would fall under the laws for NC.

    And yes, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. the gov't is not at fault in these situations. I am willing to bet you, and Mr. Gibson, knew you were breaking whatever law you broke initially that landed you in federal prison. When getting out, it is the responsibility of each convict to ensure that they understand all the rules and policies regarding their freedom. It is not the government responsibility to inform you unless asked.

  • 1 decade ago

    In this case, yes. The federal law prohibiting felons from possessing a firearm does supersede any state laws to the contrary.

    However, in 1995 North Carolina changed the Felony Firearms Act. Previously if a felon had his/her rights restored then they could possess a firearm after a five year period subsequent to the reinstatement. Once the NC legislature changed the Felony Firearms Act the ban went from 5 years to a lifelong ban.

    N.C. General Statue § 14-415.1 provides that it is unlawful “for any person who has been convicted of a felony to purchase, own, possess, or have in his custody, care, or control any handgun or other firearm with a barrel length of less than 18 inches or an overall length of less than 26 inches.” The only exception to this is in his/her home or lawful place of business. Here is where the U.S. Government laws will come in conflict.

    There are numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions declaring that state laws cannot supersede the needs of the nation as a whole. Since there are no prohibitions on travel in the United States it is possible for someone to move to or travel to another state with a firearm and become a threat to the populace there. Therefore it is to the benefit of the national populace that this law is enacted and therefore cannot be subjugated to the state statutes.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Federal law MUST supersede state law or the Federal government can't exist. Your real issue you are addressing is the fact that the Federal government has no business, nor Constitutional authority to pass laws on the VAST majority of issues. If you read Article 1, Section 8 of the US constitution, I believe you will find Congress is NOT granted the power to pass most of the laws you are concerned about.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The original idea of the framers of the Constitution was that the federal government would legislate only in areas of federal concern. However, one of those areas, interstate commerce, has become so broadly interpreted as to greatly expand federal authority. To some extent, most people would agree that this is a good thing, allowing federal regulation of food safety, etc. However, it has recently resulted in some rulings with which most people might not agree. One of those with which I do not agree is that while a person with a doctor's prescription can use marijuana for medical reasons in California, federal prohibitions upon marijuana possession still apply. The federal prohibition was found enforceable because the US Supreme Court said that individual marijuana users affect interstate commerce.

    Source(s): 30 years as a criminal defense attorney.
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • jdphd
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Federal and state law are independent. A very complicated legal framework - choice of law - governs whether state or federal law applies in a particular case. In general, however, in STATE CASES, state law applies. Federal law is not "superior" to state law, nor can it be used in state law unless one of many exceptions exist.

    One good way of thinking about this is to think about the way in which Supreme Court cases impact the law. When the Supreme Court rules on an issue, their ruling ONLY applies to federal law, the Constitution, or treatises. The state court remains the highest authority for issues relating to STATE law.

    Source(s): law student
  • John H
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    There are plenty of Federal laws that cover things that state law does not. There are state laws that Federal law doesn't cover. The various law enforcement agencies expect a citizen to know all of these.

    In other words, it is the duty of each citizen to obtain the equivalent of a law degree before we ever set foot on the streets. Well, maybe I should change that to before we learn to walk, because our homes aren't immune from the reach of the law either.

    If they want ya they can get ya.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Federal law rules, and as for Dog, (I think hes cool, and love his wife Beth , he is an ex felon and cannot own, possess, carry a firearm. That is why he carries mace, but he should carry a tazer, they work well and the problenm with mace, is that once you have sprayed your suspect, and you have to wrestle him to the ground, you might get some mace on you.

  • Ibredd
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It appears a citizen cannot hide behind state law

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    We lost the civil war. Federal law overrides all state laws,

    Source(s): Fred the dog ~¶¶ö
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's a coin toss depending on who did what and how much money there is floating around.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.