New gun law aimed at asserting sovereigntySubmitted by Shawn4Liberty on Thu, 04/16/2009 - 13:27
By KAHRIN DEINES - Associated Press - 04/16/09
Gov. Brian Schweitzer has signed into law a bill that aims to exempt Montana-made guns from federal regulation, adding firepower to a battery of legislative efforts to assert states’ rights across the nation.
“It’s a gun bill, but it’s another way of demonstrating the sovereignty of the state of Montana,” Democrat Schweitzer said.
Since the law applies only to those guns that are made and kept in Montana, its impact is limited. The state is home to just a handful of specialty gun makers, known for recreating rifles used to settle the West, and most of their customers are out-of-state.
But supporters of the new law hope it triggers a court case testing the legal basis for federal rules governing gun sales.
“What we need here is for Montana to be able to handle Montana’s business and affairs,” bill sponsor Rep. Joel Boniek, a Republican and wilderness guide from Livingston, told fellow lawmakers during the bill’s House debate.
The measure is one of many introduced by state lawmakers across the nation seeking to confront what some see as a federal overreach into state matters that will be extended with the national stimulus plan.
Along with the gun bill, Montana legislators are considering a resolution that affirms the 10th Amendment principle that the federal government only has those powers that are specifically given to it by the U.S. Constitution.
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