Saturday, April 18, 2009

MT Legislature: Fed Gun Regs Not Valid Here

In another story of state sovereignty the Montana legislature passed a bill in the state house & senate that would exempt Montana from Federal gun regulations.

Commentators mention that the bill has a very limited scope (only applies to guns manufactured in Montana and never leave MT, if I understand), but this is still a good move. It's nice to see the great people of MT understanding that a 1" difference in barrel length or a quieter gun doesn't make that gun anymore lethal.

From the bill (
Section 5. Exceptions. [Section 4] does not apply to:

(1) a firearm that cannot be carried and used by one person;

(2) a firearm that has a bore diameter greater than 1 1/2 inches and that uses smokeless powder, not black powder, as a propellant;

(3) ammunition with a projectile that explodes using an explosion of chemical energy after the projectile leaves the firearm; or

(4) a firearm that discharges two or more projectiles with one activation of the trigger or other firing device.
The KXNet (covering news in North Dakota, South Dakota, & parts of Montana) which publishes blog posts from Say Anything Blog has this to say:
Only guns made, sold and possessed in Montana, of course, which means the bill has a limited scope. But the intent here is to send a message to the federal government about overstepping their bounds. The Constitution may give Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce (I don’t think gun control is what the founders had in mind with that particular clause, but that’s a subject for another post), but it doesn’t give the federal government the power to regulate commerce - up to and including guns - that takes place entirely within a given state.

This is a bid for federalism. The same effort Governor Rick Perry in Texas has taken up. And this one is being pushed by a Democrat Governor. One Barry Schweitzer. READMORE>> Or View the Original Blog Post

This regulation would of course remove restrictions (at least in theory) from MT manufactured, sold, and possessed Short Barreled Rifles (SBR-A rifle with a barrel length less than 16 inches or overall length less than 26); Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS-a Shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches or overall length less than 26); Suppressors (silencers-"any portable device designed to muffle or disguise the report of a portable firearm"), but it exempts Machine Guns.

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