Monday, January 25, 2010

Montana vs. the Fed reports on the battle between States' rights and the Federal Government as it pertains to Montana gun rights. Thanks to Laci for the link.

Montana doesn't have the authority to exempt itself from national gun control laws, the federal government argued in new court filings, hoping to beat back a movement from states adopting the Firearms Freedom Act.

The Department of Justice, in a brief filed this week in U.S. District Court in Missoula, said that federal gun control is a "valid exercise of Congress' commerce power under the Constitution."

The agency asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed last year by gun advocates in Montana who argued the state should decide which rules, if any, would control the sale and purchase of guns and paraphernalia made in Montana. The state would then be exempt from rules on federal gun registration, background checks and dealer-licensing.

I know this has come up before but I still don't understand it. In this case the gun rights people say the Fed should stay out of it and let the local folks decide what's best for them. But in Heller vs. D.C. and McDonald vs. Chicago it's exactly the opposite. In those famous cases the gun rights folks want the Fed to step in and prevent the local governments from doing what they think is best.

Does that about sum it up?

Please leave a comment.


  1. I don't see what is so hard to follow. We don't want any infringements on Federal, State or Local levels.

  2. It's no different than the other side, in any case, who argue that cities should free to pass their own gun laws but that the Fed should be passing them as well. You fight for your cause wherever, and on the pro-gun side we fight to free up gun ownership wherever we can and the anti-gun groups fight to restrict/ban gun ownership.

    But in this case there's an interesting principle in play, which has to do with State's rights, and the history of that goes far beyond gun issues.

    I can't imagine the fed laws won't stand, but it's good to see states challenging the massive trampling on states rights that Congress has been doing for many decades. For the constitution to mean very much at all, we need to roll some of these abuses back.

    I hope they win, of course ... at the very least it would be interesting to see what this Supreme Court would do with it.

  3. FWM, Applying the very narrow and specific definition of "infringed" which appeared in the 1790s founding literature of our country in the broadest possible way about modern day gun rights is wrong. You and your friends have been repeating it so much that you may find the concept difficult, but it simply doesn't apply.

    I'm afraid you have to stick with the only good argument you have, one which you've admitted to before, that you like guns. That's all.

  4. local governments do not have the authority to violate the Constitution MikeB.

    What's so hard to understand about that?

    Short MikeB - Language from the 1790's is OLD, it is wrong and simply doesn't apply any more so we should just quit talking about our Constitutional rights.

    Hmm, I wonder what other rights written down in our BOR in the 1790s are anachronistic and should just be summarily dismissed in modern society?

    What do you think MikeB? Quit using the 1st Amendment as justification for your rants, it's just silly. Why don't you just admit that you like to disparage gun owners & quit hiding behind your free-speech "rights?"

  5. Mike W., The language of the 2nd and 3rd Amendments is completely anachronistic, so much so, that it's taken a dedicated campaign of manipulation and misinterpretation to convince people otherwise about the 2nd. No one cares about the 3rd.

    No one is talking about the 1st Amendment except you gun folks when you try to make one of your weird comparisons.

  6. Mike W., The language of the 2nd and 3rd Amendments is completely anachronistic

    If they are anachronistic then by definition so are the rest.

    You can't just pick & choose which ones are now anachronistic by going "eeny, meeny, miny, moe, the one's I don't like are hereby meaningless"

    BTW - how about a little history lesson for the guy who thinks Amendments 2 & 3 are "anachronistic" because they were written in the 1700's.

    Amendment # 1 - Ratified Dec. 15, 1791

    Oh gee, let's see on what date the 2nd and 3rd Amendments were ratified shall we?

    Hmmm, when could that be?

    Amendment #2? - Ratified Dec. 15, 1791

    Amendment # 3 - Ratified Dec. 15 1791

    hmmmm, I think I'm sensing a pattern here..... yes? no?

    December 15th 1791- That would be the date the original Bill of Rights was ratified.

  7. Mike W. said, "If they are anachronistic then by definition so are the rest."

    Not necessiraly. The wording in the 1st Amendment means pretty much the same thing today. But the word "Militia" in the 2nd, doesn't. The concept of "quartering soldiers" is meaningless today.