ATF Challenges Montana’s state gun laws

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August 12, 2009

ATF Tries to Revoke “Montana Made” State Sovereignty Laws

We all predicted this would happen.

In a move typical for that fear-mongering organization with an ever-swelling acronym, the BATFE has written gun dealers in the states of Montana and Tennessee to let them know the BATFE will be disregarding the state sovereignty gun laws of each state.

The “Montana Made” law, just like Tennessee’s Firearms Freedom Act, is very simple.

Much of federal authority to regulate firearm sales and transfers stems from a liberal interpretation of every American tyrant’s favorite subterfuge, the “interstate commerce” clause.  In essence, this is what gives the BATFE its nasty teeth.

With this in mind, Montana correctly understood that any weapon made in Montana by Montana residents and sold in Montana to Montana residents is Montana’s business and Montana’s business only.

Montana thus sought to take charge of its firearms industry with the application of a simple truism:

Any gun made in Montana by Montana residents and sold in Montana to Montana residents is intrastate commerce, not “interstate commerce,” and thus does not full under the purview of the federal government.

Potentially, the state would be able to say goodbye to NICS checks; Brady background checks; NFA taxes, bans and NFA databases — and most importantly, federal “assault weapons” bans, which Montana and Tennessee rightly anticipated.

In effect, the “Montana Made” law would have permitted Montana gun companies to manufacture any kind of weapon banned by federal law — including so-called “assault weapons” — and sell them to fellow Montana residents.

Moreover, in this scenario, no one — neither the manufacturer nor the dealer nor the buyer — would have to kowtow to the BATFE by paying them a $200 tax and surrendering one’s privacy to their notoriously inaccurate and oft-abused National Firearms Registry.

It was a new day for freedom — and other states besides Tennessee were thinking of following suit: Alaska, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

Well, the BATFE — never one to have its power downplayed (or acronym belittled)– has written letters to both Montana and Tennessee gun dealers letting them know that they proceed at their own risk.

We can only guess what new horrors those words portend — probably more dead housewives and children as disgruntled ATF thugs shoot-to-kill anyone suspected of perhaps owning a firearm not properly taxed and regulated by Washington, D.C., power brokers.

What else would be new.

A few of our members expressed interest in contacting the BATFE to vent some righteous anger — the same thing we did when the Department of Defense said they were going to ban all once-fired military brass for resale.

Remember how the DoD reneged on that commitment after just a few days due to the widespread backlash from gun owners and law enforcement?

Well, this is a bit different.  Writing the ATF and providing them with your information is akin to giving thieves your home address and the hours you won’t be home.

We’re going to take a different, less dangerous approach.

We’ve been talking to state officials from both Montana and Tennessee today to try to figure out the best way we can help these state laws succeed.

Please stay tuned to updates on this supremely important issue in our next email.

For now, click here to read Luke’s commentary on his blog and leave a comment as this development unfolds.

But before I leave you, would you consider a donation to the National Association for Gun Rights as we continue to fight for the right to keep and bear arms?  If you’re feeling particularly generous today, please click here to contribute.

In Liberty,
Dudley Brown
Executive Director
National Association for Gun Rights

P.S. The National Association for Gun Rights can always use your help as we are completely dependent on our members’ generosity.  Please click here to donate.

Prohibiting guns and drugs

There’s a civil war going on in Mexico. It’s the drug cartels, funded by obscene black market profits, versus the government, funded by obscene taxes.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Mexico this week. She’s from the U.S. Federal Government and she was there to help. She promised . . .

* More taxpayer money to fight Mexico’s war on drugs
* Gun control laws here in the U.S.A. . . .

. . .to stop the flow of guns to the Mexican drug cartels.

Ms. Clinton seems to think that gun prohibition is the way to enforce drug prohibition. She’s right about one thing. Drug prohibition and gun prohibition are the same issue.

Now, you might think drugs are bad. You might believe them to be so harmful you’d never use them. But you probably expect the politicians to keep their hands off your firearms.

On the other hand, you may think guns are evil. You might believe they’re so dangerous, you’d never own one. But you think you have every right to choose what substances you take into to your own body.

Both positions are correct. Guns and drugs are both dangerous to people who don’t use them prudently. But prohibition laws mean that no one is allowed to use them prudently. And the one form of prohibition ends up being used as a justification for the other, as Ms. Clinton made clear in Mexico this week.

We think it’s time to put the special pleading aside. Drug prohibition and gun control aren’t two separate issues, they are the same issue, and should be governed by the same principle. The only thing that should be prohibited is government prohibition in all its forms.

We don’t need to renew the Assault Weapons Ban, or give money to Mexico to fight the war on drugs.

What we need is less government coercion, not more.

Downsize DC! That’s the winning formula here.

Our government should end drug prohibition. That will defund the Mexican cartels (and the terrorists too), then they won’t be able to buy the guns. It would also reduce violent crime here at home and remove much of the supposed justification for gun prohibition.

If you see the wisdom in this please our free Educate the Powerful System to ask Congress to end prohibition.

Then, please help spread the word. Digg this message on our blog.

Thank you for being part of the growing Downsize DC Army, which has grown in two months time from 24,095 to 24,649.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc