Lawsuit Over Montana-Made Guns Goes to Next Judicial Level

Lawsuit Over Montana-Made Guns Goes to Next Judicial Level

Montana Shooting Sports Association
Montana Shooting Sports Association

MISSOULA, MONT. –-( In MSSA v. Holder, the lawsuit to validate the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA), plaintiff Montana Shooting Sports Association announced today that it is now free to take this lawsuit to the next judicial level, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

MSSA president Gary Marbut commented, “We’ve believed all along that the federal District Court cannot grant the relief we request. We seek to overturn a half-century of bad precedent.

Only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that. In that light the pending dismissal by the District Court means little except that we are now free to move to the next step of the process.”

MSSA and its partner the Second Amendment Foundation filed MSSA v. Holder on October 1, 2009, to validate the principles of the MFFA. Enacted by the 2009 Montana Legislature, the MFFA declares that any firearms made and retained in Montana are simply not subject to any federal authority under the power given to Congress in the Constitution to “regulate commerce … among the states.”

The MFFA is part of a growing national effort by states to reject federal authority and control over everything. It is an assertion of states rights, and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Since the MFFA was enacted in Montana, it has been cloned and enacted in seven other states: Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Idaho and Arizona. Other clones have been introduced in the legislatures of 20 other states. (See:

MSSA v. Holder has attracted numerous amicus curiae parties that have filed supporting briefs, including the State of Utah (also representing other states), the Goldwater Institute, the Paragon Foundation, Gun Owners of America, the Weapons Collectors Society of Montana, Montana Legislators, and Legislators from other states. It is expected that other amici will join as this suit is appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

Once the Ninth Circuit rules on the appeal, plaintiffs intend to appeal any continuation of the dismissal to the U.S. Supreme Court, at which point in the process plaintiffs could get an actual ruling on the merits of the case. Or, the Ninth circuit could recognize the merit of the issues involved and remand the matter to the District Court for an actual trial.

“That the U.S. is so desperate to keep this matter from going to trial,” Marbut said, “tells me that they are very afraid of any precedent that might be established. Normally, a Motion to Dismiss is to preserve judicial economy. In this case it is to prevent a fair hearing on the significant issues we raise. The federal government doesn’t want any questions about the extent of its power.”

“The vehemence of the recommendations by the magistrate involved” Marbut continued, “demonstrates the desperation of the federal government, including its judicial branch, to prevent a fair adjudication of the issues underlying the MFFA.”

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:

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11 years ago

LOL! Screw the feds. Nullify them!