Montana News

Nov 25, 2013 6:10 PM by MTN News

Montana gun law may go to U.S. Supreme Court

A Montana man is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that threw out a Montana gun law.

The Montana Firearms Freedom Act would keep certain Montana-made guns free of federal regulation if they stay in Montana.

But Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association says the lawsuit is about more than guns.

"Our lawsuit is designed to challenge the federal Commerce Clause power," Marbut said. "That is, the power given to Congress in the Constitution to regulate commerce among the state's, which has been construed to allow the federal government to prohibit any economic activity within state. And we think that that's a transgression."

The high court may announce early next year whether it will hear the case.

(September 2, 2010) A U.S. Magistrate judge recommended the dismissal of a lawsuit by groups in support of Montana's "Firearms Freedom Act," which states that federal gun laws do not apply to guns made in Montana.

The judge agreed with a brief filed by several anti-gun groups, arguing the law is unconstitutional.

Paul Hemke, president of the Brady Center, said, "The gun lobby's so-called ‘Freedom' acts would threaten public safety by circumventing lifesaving federal laws. The magistrate's recommendation was correct that the lawsuit, and the Act itself, should be thrown out."

The pro-gun plaintiffs asked the court to declare they could make and sell firearms in Montana without complying with federal firearms law, but the judge disagreed.

A federal district court judge will now decide whether to accept the magistrate's recommendation to dismiss the case.

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