Skip to comments.Obama Administration Takes Aim At Gun-Rights Revolt
Posted on 07/21/2009 8:18:35 PM PDT by FromLori
The Obama administration is raising the stakes in a fight over states' rights and firearm ownership by arguing that new pro-gun laws in Montana and Tennessee are invalid.
In the last few months, a grass-roots, federalist revolt against Washington, D.C. has begun to spread through states that are home to politically active gun owners. Montana and Tennessee have enacted state laws saying that federal rules do not apply to firearms manufactured entirely within the state, and similar bills are pending in Texas, Alaska, Minnesota, and South Carolina.
Yet the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and Explosives now claims that that not only is such a state law invalid, but "because the act conflicts with federal firearms laws and regulations, federal law supersedes the act."
Tennessee's law already has taken effect. The BATF's letter on July 16 to firearms manufacturers and dealers in the state says "federal law requires a license to engage in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition, or to deal in firearms, even if the firearms or ammunition remain within the same state."
A similar letter was sent to manufacturers and dealers in Montana, where the made-in-the-state law takes effect on October 1, 2009. Neither law permits certain large caliber weapons or machine guns, and both would bypass federal regulations including background checks for buyers and record-keeping requirements for sellers.
While this federalism-inspired revolt has coalesced around gun rights, the broader goal is to dust off a section of the Bill of Rights that most Americans probably have paid scant attention to: the Tenth Amendment. It says that "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Read literally, the Tenth Amendment seems to suggest that the federal government's powers are limited only to what it has been "delegated," and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1918 confirmed that the amendment "carefully reserved" some authority "to the states." That view is echoed by statements made at the time the Constitution was adopted; New Hampshire explicitly said that states kept "all powers not expressly and particularly delegated" to the federal government.
More recently, federal courts have interpreted the Tenth Amendment narrowly, in a way that justifies almost any law on grounds that it intends to regulate interstate commerce. In the 2005 case of Gonzales v. Raich, for instance, the Supreme Court ruled that a person growing marijuana for her own medicinal use could have a "substantial effect on interstate commerce."
(In an impassioned dissent at the time, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote: "If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything -- and the federal government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.")
Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, said in an interview with CBSNews.com on Monday that he expects to be facing off against the Obama administration in court soon. "We will find the right test cases to get us in court," he said.
Marbut believes that the letters were't that meaningful because they were addressed to gun manufacturers and dealers who already are licensed by the federal government. "Those people already are under the thumb of the Feds," he said. "We've assumed they wouldn't want to put their circumstances at risk in dabbling in the state-made guns business. The people who the letters are addressed to are pretty irrelevant to the whole discussion."
Translation: If you're a gunsmith talented enough to build a made-in-Montana gun under the state's forthcoming law, give Marbut a ring. Just don't be surprised if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and Explosives is not entirely pleased.
This needs to grow. One way or another, the issues must be settled. Either...the states and the individuals have the constitutional rights or the constitution needs to be invalidated completely. It can not continue to hang in the middle. This entire mess needs to be purged — there is an intense need to see it go one way or the other. The only thing in the middle of the road is a dead armadillo.
What you going to do about it Obama/Holder? Instigate fights with the local law enforcement. And how many signed law they would enforce the 10th amendment v. the Federal government? Tennessee, Montana?
Bring it on. This ********* has refused to show his BC and now he is going to tell us about The Constitution? Some AA law “graduate” who has hidden all of his grades. Bring it on Kenyan-born Hussein.
Town Hall meetings folks with Congressman and Senators. We need to get there and get everyone you know there. This stinking rats need to feel the heat.
Obama will go down in history as the most dangerous President we have ever had. Everything he does is to fit his Marxist/Commie agenda. It’s frightening to see who these sheep who did what the media told them to voted for
Someone needs to tell the TOTUS that he is not the Supreme Court.
They could also take the opportunity to tell him he’s not Congress either, and explain perhaps that all these unelected czars he’s appointing without any approval or accountability are illegal. He’s got Cabinet secretaries. Not friggin’ czars.
Didn’t we have a rather intense debate about States Rights once before, back in the 1800’s? One that got rather nasty?
The feds may be backing themselves into a corner on this one. I sure hope so.
My friend sent me the e mail so that is how I knew and this is what was said...
Real Translation! Obama knows his time is very limited because many are on to him about his being in presidency illegally! Someone pulling his strings wants these things done fast and the main thing they want done is confiscate guns so they can pass these bills without out caring anymore what people say if they ever did. Remember Kissinger said all guns would be confiscated by September and we have foreign troops on US soil by end of month! When the Federal government ignores Constitution and States stand up for it eventually there will be a fight! It can never be settled in court because all judges are in Obamas pocket and cant be settled in Congress because of the corruption there. So Montana and Tennessee state and local police and any other state that passes some law like this should arrest any Federal police like FEMA or BATF. In the end FEMA and BATF should be criminally investigated and disbanded! Also as Chuck Baldwin just said, Let it Come!
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In God, we have a great and invincible ally!
His faithful will be raised on eagle’s wings!
Now all you need is an order from the governor stating that National Guard troops are charged with the responsibility to prevent federal agents from enforcing the (unconstitutional) federal law.
The purpose of The Militia, we are told by the gun grabbers, was to prevent federal tyranny, and this function is entirely served by the National Guard today. (Hence, there is no need for arms ownership in the general public, the argument goes.) Well then, what we have here is a perfect test case for the gun grabbers ... having the National Guard prevent federal tyranny. Should this occur, we can see whether the gun grabbers really believed their story or if it was merely the most convenient lie du jour.
So, how about it, governors?
Wow! Thanks. Or maybe not thanks. ;-) Very creepy. I think some of the public is finally waking up.
We need to get this passed in more states ASAP. TX, OK, KS and maybe GA might work. Maybe AZ too.
Perhaps this isn’t the revolt the kenyan should be concerned with right now.
The Supreme Court needs to do their job and hear one of the cases out there. We have three branches of govt and we can forget about Executive (Obama), Legislative (Congress) and the Judiciary.
The entire Judicary appears to be corrupt but maybe Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas might actually think The Constitution is worth saving from a usurper.
We all knew it was coming...on FR.
Gonna be big news when he realizes what Alaska has done and what they may further do.
We signed sovereignty recently and from what I hear we may also tell the feds to take a hike on a lot of other issues.
Palin to feds: Alaska is sovereign state
Constitutional rights reasserted in growing resistance to Washington
Actually I think it will turn out that the first President from Illinois kept the country together. The second one will be the one that destroys it.