As the federal government reaches the zenith in the rhetoric over gun control, including Vice President Joe Biden promising that Barack Obama will use executive orders to implement policies against firearms, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has revived a case adopted by several states, that tells Washington where they can stick their gun rules.
The president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, Gary Marbut is the only individual listed as plaintiff in the case of MSSA v. Holder, which is scheduled to be heard on March 4. Oral arguments will begin on that day in Portland, Oregon.
While the 9th Circuit is an often overturned court, it is the hope of Mr. Marbut to get a ruling and then proceed to the United States Supreme Court.
“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 as he announced the Court's decision.
“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.”
Bob Unruh gives the background on the case.
Montana is one of many states that is bringing this kind of legislation (HB 246) to their state governments.
According to the Michigan Firearms Freedom Act (HB 5232), it is declared that that firearms that are made, sold and kept in their state does not fall under any federal laws or requirements.
Seven other states have offered similar legislation as that of Montana. Among those states are Tennessee (SB 1610), Utah (SB 11), Wyoming (HB 95), South Dakota (SB 89), Arizona (HB 2307), Idaho (HB 589), and Alaska (HB 186). Discover where your state is on the Firearms Freedom Act here.
WND previously reported on Wyoming's legislation writing:
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.”
The costs could be up to two years in prison and $2,000 in fines for an offender there.
Filings already submitted to the appellate panel challenge whether the judges will choose a “tyrannical” Washington or a federal government restrained by the Constitution.
Quoting Alexander Hamilton’s statement that the federalism system was intended to suppress “attempts of the government to establish tyranny,” a brief filed by the Montana Shooting Sports Association, the Second Amendment Foundation and Marbut states:
“The government may argue that it is not, in its current incarnation, tyrannical. The national government usually abides by the law, typically protects its citizens’ rights, and always celebrates in its peaceful transfers of power. Whatever fear appellants or anyone else may have of its becoming tyrannical, the government may argue, is no more than disingenuous alarmism,” the brief explains.
“Such an argument would be wrong.”
The brief explains the federal government already has proven that it is tyrannical.
“The wholesale stripping of independent sovereignty from the states has destroyed the balance of power, and given the federal government advantages it demonstrably tends to abuse. The outrage that is our $14.5 trillion national debt may be the worst example. The borning cry of the American Revolution was ‘no taxation without representation.’ By borrowing more money than the current generation can repay in our lifetimes, Congress leaves a legacy of debt for future generations. Our progeny did not vote for the monumental hole their parents are digging for them. Still they will certainly be saddled with the duty to make good. This is tyranny.”
Unruh went on to point out that "A number of Montana legislators submitted a brief that said the Tenth Amendment is the 'final safeguard' against federal encroachment on state authority. And a brief from the states of Utah, Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming said Washington’s 'enumerated powers' under the Constitution simply don’t include the authority to regulate intrastate activity."
"Also filing briefs with the 9th Circuit were Gun Owners of America and the Goldwater Institute and Cato Institute," he writes, "who argued the U.S. Supreme Court has determined “Congress may not ‘commandeer’ state legislatures by requiring them to legislate as directed by the federal government.”
Currently the Tenth Amendment Center is following a host of issues where states are in the process of nullification of federal laws.