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Old October 1, 2009, 08:25 PM   #1
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"We must hang together, or ..."

Please let us know when the NRA picks up on this idea::


BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today joined with the Montana Shooting Sports Association in a federal lawsuit filed in Missoula to validate the principles and terms of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA), which takes effect today, Oct. 1, 2009.

Lead attorney for the plaintiffs’ litigation team is Quentin Rhoades of the Missoula firm of Sullivan, Tabaracci & Rhoades, PC. The MFFA litigation team also includes other attorneys located in Montana, New York, Florida, Arizona and Washington.

“We’re happy to join this lawsuit,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “because we believe this issue should be decided by the courts.”

“We feel very strongly that the federal government has gone way too far in attempting to regulate a lot of activity that occurs only in-state,” added MSSA President Gary Marbut. “The Montana Legislature and governor agreed with us by enacting the MFFA. We welcome the support of many other states that are stepping up to the plate with their own firearms freedom acts.”

The MFFA declares that any firearms made and retained in Montana are not subject to any federal authority under the power given to Congress in the U.S. Constitution to regulate “commerce … among the several states.” It relies on the Tenth Amendment and other principles to exempt Montana-made and retained firearms, accessories and ammunition from federal regulation. Marbut’s group advises Montana citizens not to manufacture an MFFA-covered item until MSSA is upheld in court.

Earlier this year, Tennessee passed similar legislation and lawmakers in 20 other states have indicated that they will introduce MSSA clone legislation, Marbut said. Information about the Firearms Freedom Act movement is being accumulated and made publicly available at

MSSA is the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners.
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Old October 1, 2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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" we shall surely hang separately"?
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Old October 2, 2009, 09:14 AM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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I am curious what SAF's overarching legal strategy is in this suit. I really respect and admire the work they do and they have been a much more important player than the NRA in pro-Second Amendment litigation in my opinion.

Having said that, last time I looked it was 5-4 on whether the Second Amendment even protected an individual right, with other serious questions still undecided.

Now SAF is going to take on the Commerce Clause (Gonzales v. Raich, Wickard v. Fillburn) AND guns and do it all now when we still don't even know how incorporation will play out?

The only thing I can think of is that by asking the Court to address the mess that is the Commerce Clause, the legislators and litigators behind this case give the Supreme Court a good reason to uphold incorporation of the Second Amendment. After all, if the states have the right to regulate firearms laws how they like without the Second Amendment interfering, then it is difficult to argue that they cannot also be less restrictive than the Federal government.

From a legal precedent perspective, the case is a sure-loser; but it does put the Court in a catch-22 situation with respect to incorporation.
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Old October 2, 2009, 09:35 AM   #4
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Do the gun groups have legal standing to "validate" the State statute?
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Old October 2, 2009, 10:07 AM   #5
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What an irony. I actually suggested something like this back on Sept. 4th. Now that it has happened, I'm getting cold feet. The one question I can't shake from my head is: This is a Commerce Clause challenge masquerading as a 2nd Amendment case. If I can see through it, so can the courts. If they can see through it, they're unlikely to agree to reasoning that will ultimately undermine Wickard-Raich. Do we really need additional bad case law on this issue?

Not only do I share Bartholomew Roberts's concern, there is also the practical standing issue raised by Fremmer. Perhaps it is best to have their standing rejected and have the law preserved rather than have it struck down.
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