HELENA- Gov. Brian Schweitzer has signed into law a bill that aims to exempt Montana-made guns from federal regulation.
House Bill 246 was sponsored by Republican Rep. Joel Boniek of Livingston. It applies only to guns made and kept in Montana. Its supporters hope it triggers a court case to test the legal basis for federal rules governing gun sales.
The measure is one of many introduced this year by state lawmakers across the nation that seek to assert state sovereignty. ...
Article here. This is an important states rights law that basically challenges the federal government to a legal fight.
The law purports to exempt firearms and firearm accessories made (and kept) entirely within Montana:
A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Montana and that remains within the borders of Montana is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce. This section applies to a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured in Montana from basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported from another state. Generic and insignificant parts that have other manufacturing or consumer product applications are not firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition, and their importation into Montana and incorporation into a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured in Montana does not subject the firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition to federal regulation. It is declared by the legislature that basic materials, such as unmachined steel and unshaped wood, are not firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition and are not subject to congressional authority to regulate firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition under interstate commerce as if they were actually firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition. The authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce in basic materials does not include authority to regulate firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition made in Montana from those materials. Firearms accessories that are imported into Montana from another state and that are subject to federal regulation as being in interstate commerce do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in Montana.
The law does not appear to apply to full-auto capable weapons (an exception to the type of firearm covered by the law), although it would appear to apply to sound suppressors, as such items are defined as "firearm accessories":
"Firearms accessories" means items that are used in conjunction with or mounted upon a firearm but are not essential to the basic function of a firearm, including but not limited to telescopic or laser sights, magazines, flash or sound suppressors, folding or aftermarket stocks and grips, speedloaders, ammunition carriers, and lights for target illumination.
The full text of the bill can be found here.