Montana was the first state to pass a Firearms Freedom Act. What the Firearms Freedom Act does is exempt any gun manufactured, sold, and used exclusively in one state from federal firearm regulations. The federal government claims the ability to regulate firearms comes from their ability to regulate interstate commerce, but if no business ever crosses state lines then the federal government’s excuse for firearm regulations doesn’t apply. Unfortunately nobody has been willing to use one of these laws to go head to head against the federal government, until now:
With a homemade .22-caliber rifle he calls the Montana Buckaroo, Gary Marbut dreams of taking down the federal regulatory state.
He’s not planning to fire his gun. Instead, he wants to sell it, free from federal laws requiring him to record transactions, pay license fees and open his business to government inspectors.
For years, Mr. Marbut argued that a wide range of federal laws, not just gun regulations, should be invalid because they were based on an erroneous interpretation of Congress’s constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. In his corner were a handful of conservative lawyers and academics. Now, with the rise of the tea-party movement, the self-employed shooting-range supplier finds himself leading a movement.
Ignore the whole tea party movement comment, this has nothing to do with the tea party movement and everything to do with basic common sense any person living in America should be able to understand. If all business relating to an item stays within the borders of a state then no interstate commerce occurs and the federal government has no legitimate claim to regulating that item.
Mr. Marbut is manufacturing his own brand of .22 rifles in Montana. According to the Firearms Freedom Act any firearm falling under the legislation must be marked to indicate that the firearm is for exclusive use in the state it was manufactured.
Although I’m doubting Mr. Marbut will win (after all if the case gets to the Supreme Court they will likely rule in favor of the federal government as they are an arm of the federal government) but I’m hoping to be wrong. I’m glad somebody has finally come forth and called the federal government on their shenanigans and overreach by abusing the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.