Date published: November 8, 2010
Journal code: NEAM
The Associated Press reported that on September 29 a U.S. District Court dismissed a lawsuit brought by proponents of state sovereignty legislation that "nullified" federal gun laws in states that passed the Firearm Freedom Act (FFA). The lawsuit involved Montana, Utah, Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming, and West Virginia.
As reported in THE NEW AMERICAN, the FFA was written to exempt guns that were manufactured in-state for use in-state from federal gun-control laws because they are not within the parameters of "interstate commerce," since the Interstate Commerce Clause is used as the rationale for empowering the federal government to control guns in states. As many observers of what passes as "constitutional law" (basically a series of judicial opinions barely related to the original document) predicted, the federal courts would not be open to such an argument. Federal courts have been pretty consistent in their 200-year march to broaden federal power and limit state power. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy sided with the U.S. Department of Justice and agreed that Congress does have the authority to regulate firearms and that this "had long ago been decided in [the] courts."
Still, those who thought taking their fight to federal court was a worthwhile venture were not deterred from what many view as a resounding defeat Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, vowed that he would ˝ght on despite the ruling. "We've believed all along that the federal District Court cannot grant the relief we request. We seek to overturn a half-century of bad precedent. . . . Only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that. In that light, the pending dismissal by the District Court means little except that we are now free to move to the next step of the process."