MT Shooting Sports Association’s Suit Against U.S. Government Dismissed

by jhwygirl

Montana’s resident gun nut and lunatic lobbyist had his lawsuit against the U.S. government dismissed this afternoon for what was basically a lack of standing.

See, Marbut and his Montana Shooting Sports Association tried to sue the federal government for relief from something that hadn’t happened. See, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had yet to stop Montana from NOT regulating something that it doesn’t regulate already.

Get this circular logic?

See, Marbut successfully (so note that, people – HB246 passed a majority in the evenly split state house (84-14) and a majority in the Republican-controlled senate…and Governor Schweitzer signed the thing into law) lobbied a bill through the last legislative session that exempted Montana built guns from federal regulation.

So Montana legislators passed a bill and our Governor Schweitzer signed that bill into law that said that guns made in the state of Montana were not subject to federal law.

Make sense? A state passing a law saying it isn’t subject to federal law?

Pretty soon, one of these Einstein’s are going to want to secede from the Union….history be damned.

How we’re going to ensure that these guns stay in Montana? Don’t think that’s of consequence to Montana and its taxpayers? It will be once some gun manufacturer sells a gun to someone out of state or sells it to someone who takes the thing out of Montana. So the taxpayers will be paying Bullock and his staff to defend the thing once the feds try and enforce their regulations.

Awesome, huh?

You wonder why all the escaped convicts run here? Wonder why we have all those crazy doomsday groups here? Nazis?

And you can damned well bet Marbut considers himself a conservative. Spending taxpayer money to defend his political agenda follies.

Consider, too, the irony of him having to file in federal court. Kinda makes me laugh – him filing a suit without standing in federal court, asking the feds to basically give him legitimacy.

Gotta love that.

Want to learn more about Marbut and Joel Boniek (the sponsor the bill mentioned above)? Check out this previous post which includes a YouTube video of Marbut and Boniek’s appearance on Fox News w/Glenn Beck.

Wonder if ol’ Glenn Beck and Fox News will cover this dismissal?

  1. Still SO proud that I voted NO with 13 other state representatives in the House against this bill.

  2. Rep. Mike Miller

    No surprise there, JP. You also voted against a bill ( to forbid FWP from relocating dangerous animals like grizzly bears and mountain lions on private property without land owner permission or even notification. You appear to have no respect for private property or States rights.

    • petetalbot

      Thanks for weighing in JP and thanks for your vote on HB-246. That took some guts.

      Thanks for your comment, too, Mike, although a quick look at your voting record puts you to the right of Glenn Beck (like your vote against the Montana Children’s Health Insurance Program).

      • carfreestupidity

        As I understand it… The bill only exempts Montana manufactured firearms from federal regulation if they are sold in Montana? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

        • Rep. Mike Miller

          CFS – you are basically correct. A firearm made in Montana and that stays in Montana would be exempt – and it has to be stamped “Made in Montana”.

          The bill also excluded automatic weapons – so “machine guns” and a bunch of other weapons would still still regulated by the Feds. It did not attempt to overturn NFA 34 and GCA 68.

          The law suit is just an attempt to take some of the teeth and abuse by the Feds out of the Interstate Commerce Clause (ICC) as no interstate commerce is involved. Google on Wickard v Filburn> to see how Congress and the Feds abuse the original intent of the ICC.

          Medical marijuana is very close to the same issue. It is still illegal at the Federal level – although not being enforced which is causing major problems here in MT. The Feds regulate that using the ICC even though there is not supposed to be any interstate commerce – locally grown and locally consumed. IMHO, it should be up to the States to regulate it, not the Feds. Google on Gonzales v Raich for that decision.

          • Rep. Miller – Thanks for that good explain with extra info. Why I don’t like this law is I wonder how the state intends to regulate its law? How does it plan to ensure that MT made guns don’t leave the state?

            That’s the problem I see with this law – no way to enforce it, no plan to do it, and no ability to do it, either.

            I’m a little bummed at your comment to JP. A vote against something does not an anti-property rights or anti-state’s rights person make…

            In fact, I pay pretty close attention to the interim Water Policy Committee, and she has worked very hard and advocated quite passionately for senior water rights that aren’t currently being protected through the use of exempt wells. She also understands the lack of protection that private property rights have when septic seepage zones slop over on neighboring property – and impacting the neighboring property owners ability to place a domestic well.

            JP also proposed legislation – successfully – this past session to help protect private property values due to degradation from gravel pits – something that has been a horribly divisive issue in Gallatin County.

            But getting back to that gun law – and really lots of laws made every other year…how will the state enforce it and where will they find the money to do so?

            • Rep. Mike Miller

              j’girl – let me get back to you on the enforcement issue – I sent an email with some of your issues to an FFL friend.

              I guess one question would be – if a made in MT firearm is found outside of MT, is it an MT enforcement issue or an issue with the state it is found in? Even if firearm made and sold in MT were to cross state lines, it is not interstate commerce anymore than you buying a car in Missoula and driving over to Idaho.

              I imagine MT is capable of setting up its own version of the NICs check or even using the Fed version as it does now to keep firearms out of the hands of those not allowed to have them.

              As for JP, sometimes people vote for or against a bill, when they know their vote will not make any difference, based just on who the sponsor is.

              I believe I supported JP on at least one gravel bill when I crossed party lines and let a bill out of the Nat. Resource committee for a House floor vote. I agree, JP did work hard and is very knowledgeable on the whole gravel pit issue.

              The whole gravel pit issue is a can of worms. Seems I recall a bill to map the potential gravel pits statewide and make future land owners aware of their possible presence. Made sense to me.

              No Idea why JP voted against requiring FWP to get land owner approval before relocating animals onto private property. Ask her I guess. Perhaps she would like the 28 griz bears in the area here relocated to her backyard without her permission.

              • Rep. Miller –

                I think that when a bill was passed and signed into law, the state was bound – and you even said this – to regulate these guns manufactured here. I don’t see any intent (nor ability) to do that.

                It’d be one thing if a manufacturer here wanted to challenge the commerce clause and Marbut and MSSA wanted to fight it out for him – AND the state filed an amicus brief, but passing this bill and signing it into law ensured that the state government was waving some big stick at the federal government.

                If that doesn’t reek big government…..passing a law just to pick a fight with the feds, for some gun-loving lobbyist’s (along with a bunch of legislators and legislators that were too damned fearful to stand up to him) agenda.

                Passing laws means regulating and funding them too – a point often missed in all the stuff that is passed each session.

                I don’t see how picking a fight with the feds absolved the state of both – and I don’t see how that isn’t big government.

                I’m not anti-gun, either – but the guys in my office are anti-jhwygirl-having-a-handgun apparently are. When I merely pondering aloud a few weeks back if I should get a handgun and what kind, the men in the office were real quick to say that they didn’t think that was such a good idea.

            • Moorcat

              Your question indicates you don’t understand the law. It isn’t the state’s responcibility to ensure that the gun doesn’t leave the state. The law only applies to guns sold in the state under the terms of the law.

              Does that answer your question?

  3. petetalbot


    There is little similarity between Montana’s newly initiated gun laws and medical marijuana laws.

    The medical marijuana law — an initiative passed by the people of Montana — needs some tweaking. The intent is clear, though, and regulation isn’t that big issue.

    But guns? According to Rep. Miller, every state should manufacture, sell, regulate and enforce gun laws. What a nightmare. And I don’t see a lot of “abuse by the feds” on gun ownership in Montana.

    While some consider marijuana a social ill … bongs don’t kill people.

    • Rep. Mike Miller

      Pete – there is a lot of similarity between the two. Montana passed, by initiative, something that is illegal at the Federal level. Can you say States Rights? The Fed claims the right to not allow MMJ via the ICC and Gonzales v Raich. The people of MT want it. Who is superior? The people of MT or the Feds?

      And now, MT has passed a bill that conflicts with some Fed regulations on firearms. Again – who is superior?

      So, please point out to me, that section of the US Constitution, that allows the Feds to regulate anything that is made and sold in MT and remains in MT.

      You know, some of the hardest rights to fight for are those you do not personally agree with. However, I personally agree with both the above.

      • petetalbot

        Gary Marbut opened this can of worms, Mike. He decided to file a lawsuit challenging Congress on gun control issues and a federal magistrate sided with Congress.

        The Obama administration has said it will not use federal powers to go after the states on medical marijuana issues.

        We’ll see how this whole thing shakes out but for now, it looks like the feds see firearm regulation as being more important than pot regulation. And I agree.

  4. Are the made in Montana firearms made only with:

    * Materials mined or harvested only in Montana?
    * Tools only manufactured in Montana from only from Montana materials and tools?
    * With energy only originating in Montana?
    * With financing originating in, and never going beyond, Montana?

    I suppose a “yes” answer to all four questions is possible, but I think the odds of winning the lottery are higher. As a practical matter, interstate commerce is involved and the interstate commerce provisions of the U.S. Constitution apply.

    HR-246 was an exercise in states rights grandstanding, and in the best traditions of the masters of the art, the South’s white supremacists. It was a waste of valuable legislative time.
    Those who voted for it earned a failing grade in statesmanship. So did Governor Schweitzer for signing it. Those who voted against it exhibited both wisdom and courage, and we need more of their kind in Helena.

  5. Big Swede

    I’m confused.

    Was this action unexpected?

    Do you think the MSSA wasn’t going to the supremes?

    My only disappointment is that this decision wasn’t front page news on the eve of the election.

    • Moorcat

      “Made in Montana” is well explained in the law in question and the comments made about “are the materials mined in Montana” are simply silly. Made in Montana means simply manufactured in Montana.

      Rep Miller is right. There is no constitutional basis for the Interstate Commerce Clause to apply to an item (regardless of what the item is) made in Montana and then sold in Montana. The law was obviously a “shot across the bow” to the Feds and has yet to be tested in either State or Federal Court. The law suit was a joke and ill conceived. They would have been better off waiting till there was an actual challenge to the law before going off half cocked (sorry for the bad pun).

      I support your decision to vote against it ONLY if your constituants also felt that way. The justifications you have presented here indicate your own personal agenda and you have yet to mention whether the majority of the people you represent actually agree with your decision. This is the issue I have with our current state of Politics -Representatives not representing the people that elected them.

      • mr benson

        Well, I support JP’s conscience guiding her in her decision making, as I do Rep Moore’s. They’re not puppets on strings. I don’t want them taking polls before they vote. If I don’t trust their decision making, I’ll try to find a candidate who I do trust to send off to make those decisions. I know I will disagree with some of any representative’s decisions, so I try to find someone whose has an open mind and ability to think.

        So I oppose, 100%, the thoughts of Moorcat’s last paragraph.

        Having made that very important distinction between representative government and rule of the mob, I support Rep Moore’s, the public’s and the majority of lawmakers’ position on the issues at hand. I don’t understand the objections to either, especially not for those who support the rights of individuals over authoritarian government, especially as expressed in the Bill of Rights and the theory of government expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

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