10th Amendment Movement Gaining Momentum

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and six other states filed a brief in federal court in Montana on Monday, April 12, arguing that the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate firearms manufactured and sold within their borders.

According to reporter Robert Gehrke of the Salt Lake Tribune, the friend-of-the-court brief seeks to bolster arguments made by the Montana Shooting Sports Association that legislation passed in that state exempts Montana-made guns from federal taxation, registration, licensing, marking or record-keeping requirements.

Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming joined in the Utah brief.

Tennessee, Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota and Wyoming have joined Utah in adopting the Firearms Freedom Act as an exercise of their authority under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A proposed Firearms Freedom Act was tabled in committee by Louisiana legislators on Monday while in Texas, a similar act is gaining momentum.

The brief asks that court to recognize that "the 10th Amendment is not an empty promise to the states, but a vital guarantor of rights retained by the states, including the right to regulate purely intrastate activities."

The U.S. Justice Department has asked the Montana court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the federal government has the authority to regulate gun sales under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.