By Gary Marbut
Missoula, MT –-(Ammoland.com)- The US Supreme Court has declined to accept the State of Montana's separate petition for review of the Ninth Circuit's ruling in our lawsuit to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA), MSSA v. Holder. We're now at the end of this particular road.
Thanks ever so much to Missoula attorney Quentin Rhoades for being MSSA's sympathetic and competent legal counsel throughout. Thanks also to MSSA's partner in this lawsuit, the Second Amendment Foundation. And, thanks to the Montana legislators who believed enough in liberty and states' rights to pass the MFFA.
Still, there's more to be said about the effort.
The MFFA caught a sympathetic wave as the first legislation of its type in the US. It was cloned and enacted in eight other states, and cloned and introduced in the legislatures of about 23 other states yet. Clearly, a majority of the states of the US are operating under the same frustration with the run amok federal government as is Montana. Further, the MFFA inspired a whole wave of other “freedom acts,” such as the light bulb freedom act, the whiskey freedom act, the tobacco freedom act, the healthcare freedom act, and others. Inspired by the MFFA, the US is now alive with “nullification” efforts at the state level – state efforts telling the federal government to back off.
Also, because there are enacted or introduced FFAs in so many other states, there may well be parallel lawsuits occurring in other federal court circuits, putting pressure on the Supreme Court to rethink its rejection of the effort.
There is certainly good reason for the Supreme Court to step into this general controversy, if it has any hope to maintain respect for it's historic-but-abandoned turf as any sort of check on the other federal branches. See again my open letter to the Supreme Court urging the justices to accept MSSA v. Holder, at:
In a gentlemen's agreement with the BATFE, and while our lawsuit was working, I steadfastly advised everyone to NOT make and sell the Montana-only firearms authorized by the MFFA. I no longer take that position. However, I DO now warn people that attempting to do what the MFFA authorizes may result in federal persecution (and prosecution).
Finally, this epic trip to the US Supreme Court, and the Court's rejection of MSSA v. Holder, have finally persuaded me that it is fruitless to expect any part of the federal government to control the lust for centralized and tyrannical power that our federal government displays. Further, and perhaps more important, it proves that it is improper to rely on the federal government, or any branch thereof, to be the judge of what powers the states have delegated to the federal government in the Constitution. As the creator of the Constitution and the federal government, only the states may properly or practically do that.
That's why I have proposed the concept of the Constitutional Settlements Commission (CSC), a way for the states to operate in unison to “just say no” to the federal government and its countless minions. For a more thorough discussion of the CSC concept, see: http://www.marbut.com/csc
In closing, I must admit that my fervent hopes for a peaceful restoration of individual liberty and states' rights have been dimmed by the Supreme Court and it's rejection of MSSA v. Holder. I wonder if the justices of the Supreme Court have noticed what's going on in the Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, and other places.
It's been a great run. Thanks for your interest and support. While I remain totally committed to peaceful political efforts to restore liberty, the alternative is never off the table.
That's exactly why we have reserved to ourselves the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Best wishes,Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
About Montana Shooting Sports Association:MSSA is the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners. Visit: www.mtssa.org