Can Feds Bulldoze State Constitutional Protections?


L to R Nick Dranias, attorney for Goldwater Institute; Gary Marbut; Quentin Rhoades, attorney for Marbut, MSSA

In a courtroom gun fight that has the potential to disrupt many of Barack Obama’s plans for national gun lists, laws and limits, attorneys have told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the U.S. Constitution does not give Washington unlimited authority to bulldoze over state efforts to protect the constitutional rights of their citizens.

At issue is the years-old Montana Firearms Freedom Act, which was argued before the appeals court in a special session in Portland, Ore.

The law simply says firearms made, sold and kept in Montana are not subject to federal interstate commerce regulations.

Attorney Nick Dranias, who represented the amicus parties of the Goldwater Institute and others in the arguments, said the case should be returned to the lower court for discovery and development of evidence, because it is a case of first impression and the lower courts dismissed it without that opportunity.

He asked the judges to remember that the federal government was created by the states and that the states granted certain limited powers to the federal government. Where those rights were not granted to Washington, the states’ people retain all rights….

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