Feds go after Montana Gun ProductionSubmitted by SteveMT on Sat, 01/23/2010 - 13:20
Feds Respond to Firearms Freedom Act Lawsuit
Written by Press Room
Thursday, 21 January 2010 08:38
The United States has made its first response to a lawsuit filed in federal district court in Missoula to test the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA), passed by the 2009 Legislature and signed into law by Governor Schweitzer.
The MFFA declares that any firearms, ammunition or firearms accessories made and retained in Montana are not subject to federal regulation under the power given to Congress in the U.S. Constitution to regulate commerce "among the several states." The MFFA is a states' rights challenge on Tenth Amendment grounds, with firearms serving as the vehicle for the challenge.
This lawsuit to validate the MFFA was brought by the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). The suit names U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as defendant, and is referred to as MSSA v. Holder.
The first response to the lawsuit by the United States is a Motion to Dismiss, submitted January 19th and considered to be a standard procedural maneuver in lawsuits against the U.S government . This motion seeks to avoid the legal merits by asserting that the Plaintiffs lack standing to sue, that a justiciable controversy does not exist, and that prevailing case law is against Plaintiffs.
MSSA President Gary Marbut, also a Plaintiff in the lawsuit explained, "The first import of this response is that the legal game is now on. There was some concern that the defendants would forfeit the game with no response in an effort to prevent this important issue from being adjudicated properly. We are now beyond that hurdle." However, the Motion to Dismiss by Washington also seeks to sidestep proper adjudication.
SAF Chairman Alan Gottlieb said, "We are disappointed but not surprised that the government would try to kill this suit on standing, rather than arguing about the merits of the case."