Thursday, May 7, 2009

Showdown over "Made in Montana" Law Expected

Montana has passed legislation detailed in a January blog entry exempting firearms made and sold in Montana to Montana residents from most Federal Firearms regulations. The key legal reasoning behind the state law is the fact that Federal Firearms law is based on the “interstate commerce” powers of the Federal government.

“...the state is asserting that guns manufactured in Montana and sold in Montana to people who intend to keep their weapons in Montana are exempt from federal gun registration, background check and dealer-licensing rules because no state lines are crossed.”

In many ways, this legislation is as much about states rights under the 10th Amendment as it is about the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens of Montana. Montana has a long history of being very independent. According to the article above the goal is to either set a strong legal precedent or force the BATFE to take the issue to Court:

“Under the new law, guns intended only for Montana would be stamped "Made in Montana." The drafters of the law hope to set off a legal battle with a simple Montana-made youth-model single-shot, bolt-action .22 rifle. They plan to find a "squeaky clean" Montanan who wants to send a note to the ATF threatening to build and sell about 20 such rifles without federal dealership licensing.

“If the ATF tells them it's illegal, they will sue and take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if they can.”

The article also indicates that similar measures have also been introduced in Texas and Alaska.

In an era where the Federal government has become a monolith that seems to be intruding into every aspect of the lives of the average citizen, it is refreshing to see some states attempting to reassert their rights under the Constitution. The pendulum may finally be shifting back the other direction, and I hope in the not so distant future we’ll see a less intrusive Federal Government that sees its primary mission as protecting the rights and liberties of its citizens.

Until next time!!!

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