Arguments scheduled in 9th Circuit on Montana’s ‘freedom act’
– Bob Unruh, WND
Just as the rhetoric in Washington on guns has hit a zenith – with Joe Biden promising executive orders to try to prevent the hardware from doing damage – a court order has revived a stunning plan adopted by several states that tells Washington, regarding many guns, to just go away.
Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, confirmed that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments in the MSSA v. Holder case for March 4 in Portland, Ore. He is the only individual who is a plaintiff in the case
The challenge to Washington’s death-grip on gun rules across the nation has been stalled at the appellate level for nearly two years, but a ruling from the notoriously and often-overturned court bench is needed for the plaintiffs to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, where they want to finish their fight.
“You probably know that I wrote the Montana Firearms Freedom Act to mount a challenge to federal ‘Commerce Clause’ power, using firearms as the vehicle for the exercise,” Marbut said in his announcement about the sudden movement in the case.
“The MFFA declares that any firearms made and retained in Montana are simply not subject to any federal authority under the power given to Congress in the Constitution to ‘regulate commerce … among the states.”
The case was brought on Oct. 9, 2009, when the MFFA went into effect, and Marbut explains, “We need to get to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to overturn a century of bad Commerce Clause precedent.”
He noted the contributions of the Second Amendment Foundation, and Missoula attorney Quentin Rhoades on the case.
Officials who have worked on the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, which simply declares that guns made, sold and kept in the state of Montana are exempt from federal limits and requirements, also prompted similar legislation in seven other states.
Among those are Tennessee (SB1610); Utah (SB11); Wyoming (HB95); South Dakota (SB89); Arizona (HB2307); Idaho (HB589); and Alaska (HB1860). Representing a consensus among the states on the limits of federal power, additional copies of the MFFA were also introduced in the legislatures of 23 other states, for a total of 31 jurisdictions where it has been enacted or introduced.
Those laws are on hold pending the outcome of Montana’s court challenge.
A federal judge in Montana determined that the state could not do what it wanted.
When South Dakota’s law was signed by Gov. Mike Rounds, a commentator said it addresses the “rights of states which have been carelessly trampled by the federal government for decades.”
WND reported when Wyoming joined the states with self-declared exemptions from federal gun regulation, officials there took the unusual step of including penalties for any agent of the U.S. who “enforces or attempts to enforce” federal gun rules on a “personal firearm.