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Showdown with the Feds

Montana is getting closer to the idea, via SayUncle:

Under a proposed law before the Legislature, firearms, weapons components and ammunition made in Montana and kept in Montana would be exempt from federal regulation, potentially releasing some Montanans from national gun registration and licensing laws. The legislation could also free gun purchasers in the state from background checks.

I don’t see how this gets past Gonzalez vs. Raich, where The Court ruled that Congress may regulate intrastate commerce in items where such a scheme of regulation is meant to control the national market in a certain good.  But that’s not really the point.  States shouldn’t feel they have to accept every ruling that comes down the pike.  They should undertake more measures like this to assert their interests as separate sovereigns in our federal system.  The Supreme Court does not have a monopoly on interpreting the constitution.

10 Responses to “Showdown with the Feds”

  1. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    I read they were invoking their 10th amendment rights. I think a handful of other states are going to do that as well.

  2. Chad says:

    I believe the point that gets them around Gonzalez vs. Raich is that said guns must be stamped, “Made in Montana.” One of the reasons why the Court decided the way it did in Gonzalez vs. Raich was that in-state marijuana was indistinguishable from out-of-state marijuana. Guns marked this way would be clearly distinguishable.

  3. Ken says:

    The other thing that would get Montana around Gonzales v. Raich is the intestinal fortitude to treat an out-to-lunch Court ruling as it deserves to be treated.

    The feds might want to strangle state sovereignty in the cradle (as it were)…or they might not want to chance finding out that Montanans have the nerve, after all. Pour encourager les autres works both ways.

  4. Sebastian says:

    Could be, but I think the essential reasoning behind Raich still holds. I doubt The Court would go for it.

  5. Hypnagogue says:

    Moreover there is no constitutionally enumerated individual right in tension in Gonzales.

  6. Chad says:

    And I finally found the reference for that opinion:

    http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2009/02/22/bnews/br52.txt

    Randy Barnett’s comments at the bottom of the article.

  7. Jack of All Trades says:

    Montana here I come.

  8. WOW says:

    Does this open up the possibility of new machine guns “Made in Montana”?

  9. Sebastian says:

    In theory, yes, but they couldn’t leave Montana.

  10. Sebastian says:

    Of course, then again, machine guns are regulated partly through Congress’ taxing power, which is plenary with regards to goods. Even if you evade the Interstate Commerce Clause, you still have a tax evasion charge on your hands.

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