Last month Montana passed the “Firearms Freedom Act” that exempts firearms, and ammunition manufactured in Montana from all Federal regulation. It cites the 2nd, 9th, and 10th amendments of the US Constitution as authority and is a direct challenge to the federal government.
Essentially identical laws are currently being acted upon by the legislatures of Utah and Texas as well. The effect of these if upheld are tremendously wide sweeping. There is likely to be a challenge pushed to the Supreme Court very quickly, and with the current configuration of the court it is highly likely that it will be upheld.
This goes far beyond the law’s effect on firearms. The right to “regulate” firearms by the federal government is claimed under the “commerce clause” of the constitution. This clause allows congress to regulate “interstate” commerce. The original intent of that clause was to promote commerce between states, not to control it. Its prime focus was to to prevent states from placing state tariffs on such goods passing between states. That clause has been used as excuse for possibly more than 3/4 of the federal regulations passed since the FDR years. This would put all those regulations under doubt! (See: The Commerce Clause )
The 10th amendments states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The rights of the states to control intrastate commerce (within their borders) has always been acknowledged. However, congress has used a very loose definition of what is “interstate commerce” to include virtually anything it wants. The 9th and 10th amendments have been ignored since Rosevelt’s time. Montana is now pressing their claim to what has been their rights under the constitution since they became a state in 1889.
Should this be upheld that would remove the authority of the federal government to “regulate” things such as minimum wage, national speed limits, union regulations, drug laws and a host of other things that have userpted the rights of the states for the last 60 years. Way to go Montana!