The Montana Firearm Freedom Act was signed into law in October of this year. Here is a recent update: http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/Global/story.asp?S=11610180.
So how does this apply to Texas right now and in the near future?
One of the strategic goals of the 10th amendment movement is the passage of a firearms bill in as many states as possible. The “Firearm Freedom Act” bills state that firearms manufactured in a state that are not sold or transferred across state lines are not subject to federal gun laws. In general, federal guns laws are based on the “commerce” clause in the Constitution. This means that the federal government has asserted the authority to regulate guns since they are sold over state lines. But the Firearms Freedom Act Legislation asserts a states right to monitor their own internal affairs. Ultimately, the bills are designed to force a challenge in the supreme court of the federal abuse of the “commerce” clause to regulate state activity that does not cross state borders.
To date, Montana and Tennessee have passed a version of the Federal Firearm Act, a bill has passed in the Alaska house and nine other states have introduced legislation.
In the 2009 legislative session in Texas, a house bill was introduced but did not make it through to a vote. This legislation will have to be re-introduced in the next session. Since the Texas legislature doesn’t meet again until 2011, we will have to wait for direct Texas involvement but we should continually remind representatives that Texas insists on its freedom to manufacture firearms without federal involvement.
Another thing to keep in mind is a deal made between Firearm Freedom champion, State Representative Leo Berman and Governor Rick Perry. Earlier this year, State Representative Leo Berman was in the race for Texas Governor. He stepped down and endorsed Rick Perry; in exchange, Rick Perry publicly made four promises to Berman regarding actions he would take as Governor to support Texas state sovereignty. Perry publically agreed to these terms at a public meeting in Tyler.
One of the agreed upon terms was that Governor Perry would join with other states in preparing a challenge to federal laws that usurp states’ rights. Perry also promised to personally file a friend of the court brief in an expected Montana challenge to federal firearms regulations.
Texas must stand with Montana in this upcoming challenge and Perry has publicly promised to do so.
Brian Roberts is a long-time volunteer with the Texas TAC and a regular contributor to the Tenth Amendment Center website.
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