HELENA - If Montana has its way in a lawsuit filed Thursday, there will be far less federal gun control in the state.
The state's libertarian streak - which has spawned efforts to buck the federal Real ID Act and sparked widespread contempt for the Patriot Act - is now triggering a fight over whether Montana should have sovereignty over made-in-Montana guns and equipment.
If gun advocates win, the state could decide which rules, if any, would control the manufacturer, sale and purchase of guns and paraphernalia. And Montana would be exempt from rules on federal gun registration, background checks and dealer-licensing.
"For guns, it means we can make our own in Montana and sell them in Montana as long as they are stamped 'Made in Montana' and don't leave the state," said Gary Marbut, who runs the Montana Shooting Sports Association and is leading the lawsuit. "We will be able to do that without federal regulation, or having the ATF breath down your neck."
The association, joined by the Second Amendment Foundation in the lawsuit, hopes to ultimately win a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limits the application and reach of federal rules over state business. The suit is challenging the right of the federal government to oversee gun sales under the guise of interstate commerce regulation.
The filing in U.S. District Court in Missoula comes a day after the U.S. Supreme Court said it would consider a challenge to Chicago's handgun ban and adds to a growing list of federal lawsuits filed by gun-rights proponents that challenge local or federal gun control laws. ...
Article here. As I've noted before, it will likely be an uphill battle for the states rights argument, due to existing Supreme Court precedents. But as the article notes, the ultimate goal will be to challenge those precedents at the Supreme Court. Good luck to Montana, and God speed.