Montana takes a cue from Texas on gun rights

Montana took a step against burdensome federal interference today officially declaring that firearms which are manufactured in Montana do not fall under any federal jurisdiction with regard to registration or ownership. Furthermore, firearms accessories made in Montana which may be illegal under federal law are allowed under Montana law.

Let the constitutional showdown commence:

HELENA, Mont. – Montana is trying to trigger a battle over gun control — and perhaps make a larger point about what many folks in this ruggedly independent state regard as a meddlesome federal government.

In a bill passed by the Legislature earlier this month, 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.

That notion is all but certain to be tested in court.

The immediate effect of the law could be limited, since Montana is home to just a few specialty gun makers, known for high-end hunting rifles and replicas of Old West weapons, and because their out-of-state sales would automatically trigger federal control.

You can read the full text of House Bill No. 246 here.

Still, much bigger prey lies in Montana’s sights: a legal showdown over how far the federal government’s regulatory authority extends.

“It’s a gun bill, but it’s another way of demonstrating the sovereignty of the state of Montana,” said Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who signed the bill.

Carrie DiPirro, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, had no comment on the legislation. But the federal government has generally argued that it has authority under the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution to regulate guns because they can so easily be transported across state lines.

A Democrat governor no less. Clearly Montana is a state which believes in actually standing up for individual rights, not rolling over on them like most liberal states and the federal government.

Texas also asserts the same authority governing firearms made in Texas, though that’s nothing new. Montana is just adding itself to the list.

This will be interesting to follow.

  • JD

    THis is retarded. So as long as I intend to keep them in the state they don’t have to be registered?

    Let me get this straight? We register our cars and title them partly because we are responsible for them if something were to happen…I.E. accident or breaking the law.

    So why is it that we shouldn’t register firearms which are capable of the same travesties as automobiles when misused. No one cries foul because we register our cars…Yet I can kill someone if I run a red light.

    I don’t claim the federal government should be in charge but each state should be mandated for registration and titling for the weapons you own much like out vehicles.

    You should be able to buy from a Mercedes to Ford or a AR15 to a handgun, but a back ground check and registration should be required.

  • Path

    While I agree with Montana, this will probably be shut down under the interstate commerce clause even if no guns cross the boarders. They tried the same thing with pot but the Supreme Court ruled against them. Farmers also tried it with FDR’s Ag policies. They claim it had an “affect” on the prices of goods in interstate commerce and so the federal government had a right to regulate him.

  • JD

    By the way, Nate, I know you wrote a few pieces about how crappy Obama’s budget saving was but I am curious if you are going to post anything about

    Obama to Cut $17 Billion from Budget.

    Reports: The president will announce plans Thursday to eliminate or pare down 121 programs, saving billions in his proposed 2010 budget.

    Links in next post.

    I believe that is alot more pennies than you originally thought. I wonder if you will give credit?

  • I haven’t seen a story yet so cut me some slack! It’s hard entertaining you people all day with new ways to rip on me.

    Also, this story is not to say Montana will not do it’s own registration, etc as it always has.

    Only that the federal government has no jurisdiction over those firearms “Made in Montana” and, therefore, cannot confiscate, levy undue taxes on them or restrict the sale of them.

  • Path

    Article I Section 8 3rd paragraph: (Congress shall have the power:) To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    Sorry the Fed still has jurisdiction

  • Ron

    “(Congress shall have the power:) To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the SEVERAL States…” — Path

    The feds have jurisdiction over INTERstate commerce via the Commerce Clause. The federal government cannot invoke the Commerce Clause regarding strictly INTRAstate commerce. This is the crux of Montana’s challenge.

    The mere speculation of “possible” interstate commerce does not necessarily mean causation.

    Should this case make it to the Supreme Court, Montana will win. That is, unless the case is postponed until a more liberal SCOTUS is in place. At that point, all bets are off.

  • Path

    I agree but there is already legal president in at lest 2 cases off the top my head. Otherwise Weed could be legal because it could be grown without leaving the state. Any commerce affects commerce in another state just by simple economics

  • dan wesson

    once again anything a state or individual does that disagrees with your hip hop arrogant gang leader is retarded or simply stupid…fact..popeye for your info,the fed. government does not nor will they ever(if people wake up) have a register of firearms that are sold to its citizens..they are “NOT” sent the serial,model or type of gun when the purchase and or waiting period is made..a background check is obtained through the f.b.i..your medical records,driving record and any background negatives are researched for either approval or denial..the only carrier of a weapons numbers is the retail outlet inwhich you purchased..sure,president pelosi is trying for a national registry and obama was trying to obtain it through a medical records search,but just like the pics,,that too remained rammed straight down the throats of obama and the A.C.L.U..its sad when people who dont understand what they voted for has to be placed right in the laps of those who the burden of cleaning up/removing(by what ever means neccessary) the greed riden puppets (dem & rep) that currently are laughing histerically right in your face..luckily it has not taken this administration long at all to plunge their smart alleck,arrogant “untouchable” rally to a hault..just remember, the right to raise,bear and utilize arms against “ANY” enemy be that enemy “foriegn” or “DOMESTIC” is a right that no government shall cease..hopefully people understand what domestic means when that certain time arises…. AND IT IS SO UNBELIEVEABLE HOW THERE ARE PEOPLE CHEERING FOR THE FED GOVERNMENT TO HAVE JURISDICTION….SAD (THEY DONT,BUT JESUS YOU ARE STILL SAD)..

  • Path

    “hip hop arrogant gang leader”
    OK you’re a racist and you don’t know how to use paragraphs or read. It’s sad people are going to take you seriously

  • Carborendum

    Regardless of precedent, the basis Montana has is the contract between state and federal governments. If SCOTUS rules against it, they will secede — plain and simple.

    Who knows what kinds of actions this may trigger by other states or the Feds?