Montana Gun Rights Bill

The bill Joe highlights here in the Montana Legislature would run into problems with the Supremacy Clause, but it shows how states can take measures to resist federal encroachments on fundamental rights.  If the state of Montana were very serious about such a measure, to the point where it would be willing to arrest federal agents sent to enforce unconstitutional gun laws, things would get interesting.  I’ve discussed this in more detail here, about how state governments resisting laws they find intolerable can up the ante, so to speak, and serve to draw a line in the sand that is an alternative to what others advocate.  States like Montana, Wyoming and Idaho already seemed primed for such action, even if under the current circumstances, these bill are merely symbolic.

8 thoughts on “Montana Gun Rights Bill”

  1. Federal coercion would no doubt take the form of withheld grants, highway money, pork-barrel winnings, earmarks, etc. It’s doubtful that any state legislature would be so committed to gun rights that they could withstand all the pressure that the federal oligarchy could bring to bear.

    But it’s encouraging that this kind of thinking is in its preliminary stage.

  2. Certainly, this idea would be a non-starter in the states already lining up at the bailout cannibal pot (Michigan, California, Ohio, etc.).

  3. Probably, but someone has to pay for those states to be bailed out…. namely all the states that are doing OK. Texans should be getting pretty well pissed off right about now.

  4. Texas pays out to the fedgov more in collected taxes than it gets in from the fedgov for collectivist programs, so we’re already pissed and have been for a good while. This isn’t new – it’s a matter of degrees.

  5. Something like 75% of Idaho is owned by the Federal Government–primarily via national forests. This accounts for some of the Federal money that flows into the state. There is a fair amount of controversy over this. The state wants Federal money for roads, schools, etc. that are located in or adjacent to national forests because that land, were it privately owned, would be taxable by the state. The Feds do pay for this but I forget the details which are unimportant for this discussion.

    What is important for this discussion is that since the Feds own 75% (or 80%/whatever) of Idaho for Idaho to say, “go away” would give the Feds more than just cause to claim huge chunks of the land as legitimately being their property. That could make any secession like moves very complicated. Also, because of the National Forests there are a lot of people employed by the Feds in Idaho. Asking them to kick the Feds out would probably not be very productive.

  6. I think it would great to see this Act passed (the hearing is at 8:00am on Jan 22). We (Montana Residents) have a history of thumbing out nose at what we consider illegal acts of the Federal Government. A recent action by the ATF in Dillon Montana was found to be illegal and unwarrented, in part because they are not allowed to operate without State involvement (besides the fact that the person in question did nothing wrong – just something the fed firearms guys don;t like – make “80% guns”).

    The other bill having a hearing that day at the same time and place is HB-228 – Montana’s version of a castle law. Even though the history of such instances in Montana favor the homeowner in protecting his home, there is no specific law guarenteing a person’s rights (other than the Montana Constitution) in that situation. It should pass without a whimper from anyone.

    Montana Bullets and Blades

  7. I think the idea of Montana providing legal aid for any Montanan charged with a non-violent Federal firearms violation (e.g., possession of high-cap mags, failure to pay tax on an AR-15, private intrastate sale without an FFL or whatever they have in store for us) is outstanding.

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