SAF joins Firearms Freedom Act lawsuit

The Second Amendment Foundation announced today they have joined the Montana Shooting Sports Association in suing the Federal government to stop enforcing gun laws against guns and ammo that stays entirely within the state of Montana.

The article in the Missoulian elaborates:

That the guns and ammo not be used outside Montana is important, Gottlieb said. So far, the federal government has justified federal control over guns by citing the “interstate commerce clause,” which states that the federal government can regulate commerce between the states.

But if a gun will not be leaving Montana, there is no “interstate commerce” and the federal government has no standing to enforce its laws, Gottlieb said.

Marbut said he’ll planning to file suit in Montana federal court the day the law goes into effect. He said he’s received letters from Montanans interested in making their own guns, but who aren’t sure the new law will protect them from federal prison time.

This makes perfect sense to anyone that hasn’t read the Federal case law that came out of the 1930s (and since). But after hearing about the case law in which a farmer growing wheat on his own land for his own use was found to be engaging in Interstate commerce you realize we have a much higher hurdle to clear with this sort of lawsuit. That one case was just the beginning. There have been thousands of cases and laws built upon that one finding. How can a gun rights case find a niche in that “wall”?

Everyone I have talked to about this thinks the Firearms Freedom Acts (Montana and Tennessee so far) are only good for entertainment value. But SAF throwing it’s weight behind this causes me some doubt. Sure, it makes great copy for fundraising. But so would a lot of other gun lawsuits that are lost causes. I’ve had a lot of “behind the scenes” conversations with the SAF people over the years and while I acknowledge fundraising is one of their objectives I know they are smart enough to not back a completely lost cause. Winning lawsuits is far better for fundraising than losing a case no matter how noble a cause.

Perhaps my email to Gottlieb’s and my Senator, Patty Murray, convinced her to pull a few strings on her end in Washington as well.


4 thoughts on “SAF joins Firearms Freedom Act lawsuit

  1. I would argue that the precedent is incorrect. It may seem a higher hurdle, but the aggressive approach may just work. Part of my argument is the despicable nature of the requirement that the state dictates what is and is not a reasonable breach of the Constitution. As that Marine said in the video that’s gone viral, the government doesn’t have that right. Bad precedent cannot trump the actual text of the Constitution.


  2. Lets see; newspapers and books cross state lines all the time, so as being in interstate commerce then, the First Amendment doesn’t apply and the feds can restrict them at will? That’s what we’re saying, right? Same with religions if your congregation consists of people from more than one state? And your personal papers and effects, most of which came across state lines before you received them, are also not protected under the Fourth Amendment? And if you happen to move your body across state lines after you’re born, you essentially have no rights that cannot be restricted at federal whim? For that matter, if you stay in the same state all your life, your act of staying in the same state impacts interstate commerce (you’re not spending money on transportation, food, etc. in other states) and so in essence we’re being told that there are no such things as constitutional limits, because anything and everything we do, or don’t do, impacts interstate commerce in some way. Hence, the commerce clause grants absolute power to the federal government.

    No doubt that’s what the Founders had in mind, and that is after all the slogan of the day– “Yes We Can!”

  3. Wickard and Raich did not involve a constitutionally protected right. I’m just guessing but that difference may enable a small niche to be carved out.

    I’m anxious to see the complaint and briefs.

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