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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Magistrate recommends dismissing states' gun suit

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Montana and other states that passed laws seeking freedom from federal gun control laws were dealt a setback by a federal magistrate.

The magistrate sided with the U.S. Department of Justice, which says courts have already decided that Congress can set standards on such items as guns through its power to regulate interstate commerce. The recommendation now goes to the federal judge in Missoula hearing the case — and even gun rights advocates recognized it is likely he will side with the magistrate.
Last year Montana, Utah, Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming and West Virginia passed laws commonly referred to as "firearm freedoms act" laws that said if guns manufactured in the state were only going to be sold and used in that state, the firearms would not be subject to federal laws.

The magistrate also questioned whether the Montana Shooting Sports Association had standing to file the suit in the first place. Gary Marbut of MSSA stated:

"We expected an adverse ruling in district court, which is fine, because it will give us control of the appeals process. We need to get in front of the Supreme Court," Marbut said. "Truly we need to overturn a half century of Commerce Clause precedent and only the Supreme Court can do that."

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