At CBS News today, Declan McCullagh has an extremely fair report on a new lawsuit in support of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act. Here’s an excerpt:
This is part of a new grassroots movement that’s seeking to invoke the principle of states’ rights — including states’ authority to regulate firearms within their borders — to thwart what backers view as an increasingly overreaching federal government.
One of the plaintiffs is Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. The complaint (PDF) says Marbut “wishes to manufacture and sell small arms and small arms ammunition to customers exclusively in Montana” without complying with federal laws but has been told by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives that the federal laws “continue to apply.”
Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on twitter - @michaelboldin, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook.
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I believe it was a mistake for them to file a lawsuit. If Montana needs permission from a federal court to exercise state sovereignty, then it's not sovereign. They should have just enforced the law regardless of what any federal official says.
Nick, you might be on to something. It remains to be seen. I don't expect the federal government's courts to restrict federal power on this lawsuit. The essential question - what will they do next? Will they do like the marijuana activists in CA have done - and ignore the federal law even under threat of DEA raids?