- "One of the first real attempts to roll back the
federal-criminal-assault upon firearms ownership across this nation - and
it is working!" - Jim Kirwan
- Gun Groups to Sue over Montana-made and Retained Firearms
- (for immediate release - 08/21/09)
- MISSOULA, MT - the Montana
Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) and the Second Amendment Foundation
(SAF) have formed a strategic alliance to litigate the principles of the
Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA), passed by the 2009 Montana Legislature
and signed into law by Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.
- The MFFA declares that any firearms made and retained
in Montana are not subject to any federal authority, resisting Congress's
dramatically expanded use of the interstate commerce clause to justify
Washington's regulation of virtually all of the private economy. The MFFA
also applies to firearm accessories and ammunition.
- MSSA is most well-known for advancing pro-gun and pro-hunting
bills in the Montana Legislature, and has been successful with 54 pro-gun
and pro-hunting measures in the past 25 years. SAF is a pro-gun foundation
in Bellevue, Washington, established to press the rights of gun owners
primarily in judicial fora. SAF has been a party to numerous lawsuits to
assert the rights of gun owners across the Nation.
- The primary purpose of the MFFA is to set up a legal
- federal power under the commerce clause. MSSA and SAF
expect to mount this legal challenge by filing a suit for a declaratory
- judgment to test the principles of the MFFA in federal
- October 1st, the day the Montana law becomes effective.
- The concept of the Firearms Freedom Act has caught fire
- nationwide. Tennessee has passed a clone of the MFFA.
Other clones have been introduced in the legislatures of Alaska, Texas,
Florida, South Carolina, Minnesota and Michigan. Legislators in 19 other
states have indicated that they will introduce MFFA clones soon or when
their legislatures next convene. See:http://firearmsfreedomact.com
- This wave of interest across the Nation is what the federal
judiciary calls "emerging consensus" and will play an important
role in validating the principles of the MFFA.
- MSSA president Gary Marbut commented, "We're excited
to get the MFFA into court to articulate and argue the principles of freedom
and states' rights. It's especially encouraging that people in so many
other states are getting tickets to ride this particular freedom train.
It will be an interesting journey, and we hope successful one."
- SAF founder Alan Gottlieb added, "This is an issue
that needs public attention because it challenges federal intrusion into
an area where the federal government clearly, and literally, has no business."
- The MSSA/SAF legal team is currently working up its arguments
and litigation strategy. The team has identified several areas of
rationale' that have never been discussed before in cases about Congress's
commerce clause power. The general thesis is that Washington has
gone way overboard in attempting to regulate the internal affairs
of states under the strained theory that states' internal activities
are related to interstate commerce.
- Although the MFFA addresses firearms, ammunition and
firearm accessories specifically, it is primarily about states' rights
and the commerce clause power of Congress. Firearms are the object;
states' rights and freedom are the subjects.
- Information: Gary Marbut; 406-549-1252
- Alan Gottlieb; 425-454-7012
- Gary Marbut, president
- Montana Shooting Sports Association
- author, Gun Laws of Montana