Posts Tagged ‘firearms freedom act’

Montana shooters to challenge AG holder in court March 4th

March 1, 2013 1 comment


By Gary Marbut, Montana Shooting Sports Association

Nearly a decade of carefully planned effort to challenge federal Commerce Clause power will see another landmark on Monday, March 4th, when MSSA v. Holder has oral argument before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon.  MSSA in the case caption is the Montana Shooting Sports Association whose President, Gary Marbut, crafted the original Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA) in 2004 specifically to lay the groundwork for this current litigation.



February 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA v. Holder, our lawsuit to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, will have oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon, this coming Monday, March 4th.

With many thanks to generous MSSA donors, my costs for travel lodgings and other are covered by MSSA and I will be there.  I’ll get you a report when I get back.

Audio and/or video of the oral argument should appear on the Ninth Circuit’s Website by Noon on Tuesday, at:

Most of you will remember that the MFFA uses firearms as the vehicle to challenge federal power to regulate or prohibit basically everything under the enumerated power given to Congress by the states in the Constitution to “regulate commerce … among the several states …”, the Commerce Clause.  MSSA advances some fresh and powerful arguments that have never been made in Commerce Clause litigation before (such as the Ninth and Tenth Amendments actually amended the Commerce Clause and its possible implementation).

I wrote and submitted an article today to The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. telling more of the story about MSSA’s Commerce Clause challenge.  If that article is published before I leave, I’ll shoot you the link.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

Gary Marbut and The Montana Shooting Sports Association Letter To Fish and Wildlife “Protection” Agency….. BE HONEST AND DO YOUR JOB, OR NO MORE FUNDS!

January 21, 2012 2 comments

[TWG Note:  Below is a letter, written by Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association to the Fish and Wildlife “Protection” agency.  I think you’ll find it most interesting, particularly if you live in Montana, Washington, Idaho and Oregon.  Please see my personal note below the letter, and please help me in sending Mr. Marbut a heartfelt THANKS for his efforts on behalf of our gun rights, wildlife, hunters and for all Americans who feel that Federal agencies have overstepped their boundaries.]


Shane Colton
FWP Commission


See the story in the Bozeman Chronicle at:

This is the first overt symptom of the agency “death spiral” for FWP.

For two decades, FWP has come to focus on wildlife and biology, when it should have been focused on fish and game.  A significant part of this picture has been FWP’s shocking tolerance and support for large predators.  FWP’s total, willing, even eager cooperation with large predator enhancement has long been predicted to result in an economic crash for the agency, when the word unavoidably spreads that there is no game left to hunt so there is no reason to buy a license.

FWP leaders have for too long leaned on the scales of policy by making excuses for the devastation wrought to game herds by large predators, fudging game counts and census numbers, and blaming any population declines that could not be covered up on climate change, sunspots, or aliens – anything but the truth.  This coverup culture has been fostered by senior staff, always near retirement, who knew they’d be gone and not in the hot seat when the crisis actually arrived.

If the overall FWP attitude had not been so Hell-bent on “ecosystem management,” “biological diversity,” “natural balance” and other similar catchy but terminal “green” ideas destined to end hunting, FWP managers could have projected the current crisis years ago.  I guess nobody at FWP noticed or cared several years ago when the editor of the NRA’s American Hunter magazine wrote a feature article about his fruitless elk hunting trip to southwest Montana, a trip where the only tracks he saw were wolf tracks.  Nobody at FWP noticed or cared about the other thousands of warnings from Montana citizens.  Worse, those warnings were ignored in a mad pursuit of a “green” agenda for FWP.

The stock mantra from FWP managers has been:  We’re the professionals.  We know best.  The outcome concerned citizens project will never come to pass.  The “evidence” of crashing game herds citizens cite is just “campfire stories” and is without merit because it doesn’t come from professional FWP biologists.

Yet when retired FWP employees, freed from the institutional FWP muzzle, asserted that FWP-tolerated wolves were turning the Montana landscape into a “biological desert,” FWP dismissed such comments summarily.

For the last two decades, FWP has been busy digging a hole for itself.  As it sees daylight disappearing around the edges of the hole, it still won’t quit digging.

Of course, the obvious solution for the bureaucratic-bound and reality-disconnected FWP will be to announce, “We’ve been managing wildlife for the general public (including the non-Montana public) for years.  Now we need the general public to pay the bills.”  FWP has so fouled its nest by inadvisably removing hunters from the economic equation that it will eventually have to go to the Legislature asking for relief, including increased fees that hunters simply won’t pay to access a vanishing resource, and, ultimately, general taxpayer money.

You can bet that when FWP approaches the Legislature demanding an allowance increase as a reward for having flunked Econ 101, MSSA and thousands of Montana hunters will be there to say “Absolutely no way.”  FWP has not only ignored the many warnings from Montana hunters, it has mocked and disrespected them.

What FWP needs is not more or alternate sources of money, but a total change in attitude and culture.  Until that happens, let FWP starve!  It is not serving Montanans.

Sincerely yours,


Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana


[TWG Note: Gary Marbut, President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, has been diligently and tirelessly advocating for hunters, wildlife and for our Second and Tenth Amendment Rights not only here in Montana, but all over the country.  We can Thank Him for the Firearms Freedom Act, among many, many successful legislative efforts and accomplishments on our behalf.   Mr. Marbut is an amazing individual, and I hope you’ll join me in thanking him for his efforts and success.  


I’ve personally witnessed Mr Marbut’s relentless work here at the Montana Legislature and in numerous opinion articles he’s written in his efforts to expose the truth about gun rights, wildlife and Tenth Amendment issues.  He’s a SUPERSTAR in my book, and if you can help support his efforts, I’m certain a donation in any amount would be very much appreciated by him.  If you’d like to become a member of The Montana Shooting Sports Association, you can show your support by purchasing a membership for a mere $25  You do not need to be a resident of Montana to join the Montana Shooting Sports Association.  Donations and membership fees are used to help Gary’s efforts in advocating for our rights not just here in Montana, but all across America.


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Meet Montana’s Own Gary Marbut and The Montana Shooting Sports Association

July 13, 2011 2 comments

Profile – July 13, 2011 by Camillia Lanham and Ray Ring

Guns are Gary Marbut’s life. A self-employed, self-sufficient jack-of-all-trades who lives outside of Missoula, Mont., Marbut says that if he didn’t cast his own bullets, he couldn’t afford to shoot as much as he does: 10,000 to 15,000 rounds per year.

He shoots in both rifle and handgun competitions, teaches concealed weapons classes (he’s had about 3,500 students), manufactures target equipment, and hunts elk with a .44 Magnum revolver, because it’s more challenging: He has to “sneak-creep” to within 50 yards of an elk to take a shot. In 1989, Marbut also founded what is arguably the most assertive state-level gun-rights group, the Montana Sports Shooting Association. He says his gun-rights advocacy is partly about “individual and personal freedom, and he has been the main leader pushing “55 pro-gun, pro-hunting bills” through the Montana Legislature.

During every session of the Montana Legislature, as president of MSSA, Marbut spearheads the group’s lobbying effort for pro-gun rights legislation. He has entrenched himself in this kind of gun battle for more than 20 years, and earned national recognition in 2009 by successfully pushing for passage of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act…… (Con’t Below)


[TWG NOTE:  Gary Marbut, with the Montana Shooting Sports Association, is absolutely relentless in his efforts to protect our Second Amendment Rights, not only here in Montana but nationwide. He’s been instrumental in implementation of the Firearms Freedom Act and works diligently with lawmakers on our behalf.  PLEASE consider supporting his efforts by joining his organization ( ) and any financial support you can provide to him and his organization.  Gary Marbut is a VERY STRONG Advocate for Second Amendment Rights everywhere, and he deserves our full support.]



More Briefs Filed In MSSA vs Holder (Firearms Freedom Act)

More briefs have been filed at the Ninth Circuit in MSSA v. Holder, including the brief for Utah )and several other states included), Montana Legislators, and the Weapons Collectors Society of Montana.

If you’re interested, see these plus Appellant’s brief and the briefs of other amici at:

Yet to be filed today (deadline at midnight) are the briefs of the Goldwater Institute, Gun Owners Foundation, and the State of Montana.  Stay tuned.


Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana


Briefs Filed in MSSA v. Holder (FIREARMS FREEDOM ACT)

REPOSTING. Please get involved in the Firearms Freedom Act. It’s extremely important to preserving our Second Amendment Rights against infringement.
Dear MSSA Friends,

Briefs are getting filed in MSSA v. Holder before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  This is MSSA’s lawsuit to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act.  this a challenge to federal power asserted under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution to regulate every human (and non-human) activity under the guise of regulating “commerce … among the several states.”

As more briefs become available, we will continue to post them at:

Appellants (those of us appealing the adverse decision of the federal District Court) include MSSA, the Second Amendment Foundation, and myself as the sole individual plaintiff.

Available so far are Appellants’ Principal Brief, the brief of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and the brief of the Pacific Legal Foundation.

Expected by the deadline next Monday are the briefs of the Goldwater Institute (now including CATO), the State of Utah (also representing several other states), the State of Montana (now backed down from Intervenor status to amicus status),  Montana Legislators, Gun Owner’s Foundation (Gun Owners of America [also with U.S. Justice’s Gary Kreep] ), the Weapons Collectors Society of Montana and perhaps even some of the anti-gun crowd such as the Brady Center For The Idiotic Idea That Guns Must Somehow Cause Violence.

Stay tuned.  We’ll post more briefs to the Website as they become available.

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana


December 2, 2010 2 comments

[Friends, this is something we should ALL get behind and support in any way possible.  This case has monumental implications, particularly considering the Federal Government has overreached it’s boundaries with regard to the Commerce Clause of the Constitution of The United States Of America, and given the current Administration’s stance on Gun Control and our Second Amendment Rights.  Please help support this effort financially or by volunteering your time and resources to the Montana Shooting Sports Association and Mr. Gary Marbut.]



(for immediate release – December 2, 2010)

Plaintiffs Appeal Firearms Freedom Act Ruling to the Ninth Circuit

Enroute to the U.S. Supreme Court



MISSOULA, MONT. – Plaintiffs in litigation to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA) have appealed an expected but adverse federal district court decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The plaintiffs in MSSA v. Holder include the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and MSSA President Gary Marbut of Missoula.

The MFFA is designed to test the power of Congress to regulate everything without limits under the narrow power given to Congress in the Constitution to “regulate commerce … among the states.”  The MFFA declares that any firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories made and retained in Montana are not subject to any federal authority under the Commerce Clause.  Congress must find some authority among the Constitution’s “enumerated powers” for every action it takes.

Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit MSSA v. Holder on the day the MFFA became effective in Montana, October 1, 2009.  Since the MFFA enactment in Montana, the MFFA has been cloned and enacted in seven other states, and FFA bills have been introduced in the legislatures of 20 more states.

In a judgment entered on October 19, 2010, the district court granted the U.S. Motion to Dismiss.  It is this judgment that is now appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

MSSA President and plaintiff Gary Marbut commented, “We’ve known all along that the district court will not provide what we seek, the reversal of a half-century of bad Commerce Clause precedent.  We need to get to the U.S. Supreme Court for that.  This notice of appeal puts us at the 50-yard line in our quest to get to the Supreme Court – it is a big step in the direction we need to go.”

Not only has the FFA concept attracted the interest and support of many other states frustrated with an overbearing federal government, but the MSSA v. Holder lawsuit has attracted an unusual, perhaps record, number of amici (amicus curiae, friends of the court).  Some qualified observers say they’ve never seen a case that has attracted as much amici support at the district court level as this case has.  Amici include the State of Utah (also representing several other states), Gun Owners Foundation (Gun Owners of America), the Goldwater Institute of Arizona, the Paragon Foundation of New Mexico, the Weapons Collectors Society of Montana, an amicus group of Montana legislators who supported the MFFA, and another amicus group of non-Montana legislators who sponsored or co-sponsored FFA bills in other states.  The State of Montana has also intervened in support of the MFFA.  Other amici are expected to enter in support of the MFFA when the lawsuit is argued before Ninth Circuit.

“It is totally obvious from the positions of federal participants, both lawyers and judges for the U.S.,” Marbut commented, “that the federal establishment definitely, almost desperately, wishes to prevent this issue from having a trial on merit.”

The likely options for the Ninth Circuit are to uphold the judgment of the district court or to overrule the district court and remand the case back to the district court for trial.  Regardless of what action is taken by the Ninth Circuit, MSSA v. Holder is certain to be appealed to the Supreme Court.  If the Supreme Court only reviews the district court dismissal on appeal to it, the Supreme Court can still rule on the merits of the case since part of the grounds for dismissal is based on merit.

Information:  Gary Marbut, 406-549-1252
including the internal link to “Montana Lawsuit Updates”

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana

NRA a No-Show in Constitutional Firearm Freedom Act Fight

April 19, 2010, 4:44 am

 The nation’s most influential gun-rights group is conspicuously absent — and nearly silent — in a growing battle between states and the federal government over gun control.
The National Rifle Association has been taking a low profile when it comes to the firearms freedom acts that have been passed by seven state legislatures and spawned a growing legal fight between those states, some gun advocates and the U.S. Justice Department.

The firearms freedom act was first launched last year in the Montana Legislature, pushed by local gun advocates. The law states that guns made and sold within a state’s borders are exempt from federal gun control under Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce.

A lawsuit filed last year by Montana gun advocates following passage of the law argued the state should decide which rules, if any, would control the sale and purchase of guns and paraphernalia made in Montana. The state would then be exempt from rules on federal gun registration, background checks and dealer-licensing.

Several attorneys general, including Democrat Steve Bullock of Montana, have joined the gun advocates this month in their legal fight. But the NRA is sitting on the sidelines — perhaps because the influential group doesn’t think the states stand much of a chance with their constitutional legal argument.

The NRA’s Chris Cox has previously told gun owners that he thinks the litigation faces many hurdles because the Supreme Court has given Congress “a very long reach.”

For More of this Helena Independent Record Story, Click Here

Washington State Federal Firearms Freedom Act SB 6475 & HB 2709 RECAP

HB 2709, SB 6475

Washington Firearms Freedom Act Concerning adopting the Washington state firearms freedom act of 2010 and exempting a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured and retained in Washington from federal regulation under the commerce clause of the Constitution of the United States.

Jan 12 Held on first reading.
Jan 13 First reading, referred to Judiciary. (View Original Bill)
Mar 15 By resolution, reintroduced and retained in present status.

HB 2709 – Representatives Shea, Ross, Kristiansen, Haler, Klippert, Taylor, McCune, Short, Hinkle, Crouse, Dammeier, Parker, Johnson, Angel, Bailey, Orcutt, Roach, Schmick, Fagan, Condotta, Pearson, Warnick, Kretz

SB 6475 – Senators Stevens, Morton, Hewitt, Holmquist, Swecker, Carrell, Schoesler, Delvin, Honeyford, King, Pflug, Roach, Becker

Description prepared by the Washington Secretary of State: This measure would declare that certain personal firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition manufactured in Washington without using any significant parts imported from another state, and that are not removed from Washington are exempt from federal regulation, including any federal registration requirement. The measure would not apply to certain firearms, including firearms that cannot be carried and used by one person, that fire exploding projectiles, or, except shotguns, that discharge multiple projectiles with one trigger pull.

NOTE: Originally introduced and passed in Montana, the FFA declares that any firearms made and retained in-state are beyond the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce among the states.
Following initial Montana enactment, clones of the Firearms Freedom Act have subsequently been enacted in Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota, and other clones have been introduced in the legislatures of twenty-some other states.

The FFA is primarily a Tenth Amendment challenge to the powers of Congress under the commerce clause, with firearms as the object it is a states rights exercise.

Obamacare and Firearms Freedom:  All Americans should be concerned about socialized health care, but gun owners should especially be wary. The ObamaCare legislation in Congress could empower anti-gun bureaucrats to deny medical reimbursements to individuals who engage in supposedly dangerous activities, like owning loaded weapons for self-defense.
Every version of the health care bill in the Senate contains language that will punish Americans who engage in unhealthy lifestyles by allowing insurers to charge them higher insurance premiums. Of course, what constitutes an unhealthy lifestyle is to be defined by legislators.
So dont be surprised if an anti-gun nut like HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius — who vetoed concealed carry legislation as the governor of Kansas — uses this same line of thinking. As the one who will write the ObamaCare regs, Secretary Sebelius can prescribe policies that impose a back-door gun ban on any American who owns dangerous firearms.
After all, insurers already (and routinely) drop homeowners from their policies for owning certain types of guns or for refusing to use trigger locks (that is, for keeping their guns ready for self-defense!). While not all insurers practice this anti-gun behavior, Gun Owners of America has documented that some do — Prudential and State Farm being two of the most well-known.
The good news is that because homeowner insurance is private (and is still subject to the free market) you can go to another company if one drops you. But what are you going to do under nationalized ObamaCare when the regulations written by Secretary Sebelius suspend the applicability of your government-mandated policy because of your gun ownership?
A majority of Americans are right. The ObamaCrats do want to restrict our gun rights, but theyre not necessarily going to do it with a frontal assault.
Thats why its a good thing that the silent majority is now waking up, because a grassroots rebellion is the only thing that is going to be able to prevent all the back-door assaults on our liberties.

Please pass the smelling salts.

To read HB 2709, the Washington Firearms Freedom Act House Bill, click here:
To read SB 6475, the Washington Firearms Freedom Act Senate Bill, click here:
Montana Legislative Record HB 246
Firearms Freedom Act Blog:
Gun Rights Examiner Article on Firearms Freedom Acts Across America:
Wikipedia Article on Firearms Freedom Act:

Gun Owners of America Article on Federal Firearms Freedom:
A Term Paper on the Firearms Freedom Act:
What Is The Commerce Clause?:
WorldNet Daily Article Jan. 31, 2010:

“The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.” [William Rawle, A View of the Constitution 125-6 (2nd ed. 1829)


Washington State Firearms Freedom Act HB 2709

Support Washington State Firearms Freedom Act

Tired of a Congress that continually ignores the Constitution and its principles of limited government, coupled with non-responsive representation in that body, activists are taking their freedom fight to their state legislatures. They have found sympathetic ears and pro-active representation at a level a bit closer to home with the principle of nullification. And for reining in the federal regulators of guns, accessories, and ammunition, nothing has more promise than Firearms Freedom Acts.

Reclaiming the balance that once existed between the states and the federal government through non-compliance, or nullification legislation, is based on the Principles of ’98, as explained in The Federalist, No. 51, the most solid foundational principles and path for peaceful resistance available to Americans.

Washington State has introduced this important nullification legislation to restrict the authority of the federal government in the area of gun control.

The Firearms Freedom Act is an attempt to stop the overreach of the federal government by simply ignoring the government’s false claim to regulation under the Commerce Clause and declaring the state’s authority over firearms, accessories and ammunition that coincides with the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

Currently Washington’s HB2709 is sitting in committee. Please give the bill a much needed boost by contacting your state legislators and insisting that they support, promote and help pass this important legislation to safeguard the citizens of the state from the continued encroachment of the federal government, and to reaffirm state sovereignty.

Passage of this bill is essential in the ongoing effort to protect the freedoms and liberties of the citizens of each and every state.

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