Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, is one of the leaders of a new grassroots movement that’s seeking to invoke the principle of states’ rights — including states’ own authority to regulate firearms — to thwart what he and his allies view as an increasingly overreaching federal government.
Politicians in Washington have “assumed power that many of us believe was not authorized under the limits of the Constitution,” Marbut said in an interview with CBSNews.com last week.
This modern-day federalist revolt began with a Montana state law recently signed by Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer. It says that firearms, ammunition, and accessories manufactured entirely inside Montana are not subject to federal regulation, including background checks for buyers and record-keeping requirements for sellers. They would remain subject to state regulation.
The law, which does not permit the manufacture of certain large-caliber weapons or machine guns, takes effect on October 1, 2009.
Montana is hardly alone: the Tennessee legislature has approved a nearly-identical bill, and others are pending in Texas, Alaska, Minnesota, and South Carolina. About 10 other states, including Florida and Arizona, are reportedly considering similar measures, and a Colorado state legislator has publicly pledged to follow suit. Read more