Gun advocates asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to overturn a lower court’s ruling against state laws designed to buck federal gun rules.
Earlier this year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge’s decision against the 2009 Montana Firearms Freedom Act. The law attempts to declare that federal firearms regulations don’t apply to guns kept in the state where they were manufactured.
Other pro-gun states have passed similar measures.
The Justice Department has argued successfully that the courts already have decided Congress can use its power to regulate interstate commerce. Some gun-control advocates sided with the federal argument, saying “firearm freedom acts” would allow felons to obtain guns without background checks and make it harder to trace guns used in crimes.
Gun advocates have long said only the Supreme Court can decide the case because it will have to limit the reach of Congress to regulate guns. The Supreme Court is expected to decide next year whether to accept the request.
The Firearms Freedom Act supported by a number of state attorney generals is a political boundary marker, written and put into law to restrict the power of the federal government. No one can seriously argue that it is actually practical law; it would means citizens would be required to sell all “state” firearms before moving to another state, and they couldn’t be used if they wanted to go on a hunt in another state, or carry a “state” firearm with them as you travel from one state to another despite reciprocity laws, or go to a class or a competition despite legal ownership of the firearm of the state in which it was created. It would create another new layer of “gotcha” gun laws, which is the last thing we need in a patchwork of already absurd federal, state, and local laws.
Because of this existence of existing case law on interstate commerce and the practical problems of allowing such a law to stand, expect for the U.S. Supreme Court to simply pass on ruling on the case and letting the lower court ruling stand. The only reason that the Court many take the case is if they feel a compelling need to correct the legal reasoning for the ruling in one of the lower courts.