On Friday, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of a lower court against the 2009 Montana Firearms Freedom Act. The law has also been adopted in many other pro-gun states, and it attempts to assert that federal firearms regulations are not applicable to guns that are made and maintained within the state.
However, the 9th Circuit kept the doors open for supporters of the law to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Montana Shooting Sports Association stated that it expected the 9th Circuit to rule against the law. Its president Gary Marbut had been prevented from attempting to manufacture a small bolt-action rifle in Montana by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Marbut said in a press release, “We must get to the U.S. Supreme Court to accomplish our goal of overturning 70 years of flawed Supreme Court rulings on the interstate commerce clause.”
“This was about as good of a ruling as we could have expected from the 9th Circuit,” said Marbut, “Only the Supreme Court can overturn Supreme Court precedent.”
The Department of Justice successfully argued before the 9th Circuit that the “firearm freedom acts” would help felons to obtain guns easily and would make it difficult to trace guns used in crime scenes. The DOJ maintained that court precedents have already determined that Congress had the power to regulate interstate commerce and can set standards on items like guns.
Right now, the case seems destined for the Supreme Court as not only did the state of Montana intervene in support of the law, but other states like Utah, Idaho, Michigan, Alaska, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming and West Virginia also came out in support.
Marbut had wanted to name his gun manufactured in Montana as the “Montana Buckaroo” meant for sale only in Montana.
However, the 9th Circuit observed, “Even if Marbut never sells the Buckaroo outside of Montana, Congress could rationally conclude that unlicensed firearms would make their way into the interstate market … This result does not change because the Buckaroo will bear a ‘Made in Montana’ stamp to distinguish it from firearms that may be sold in the interstate market.”