Feds Fire Back Against States Gun Exemptions...

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    Exclamation Feds Fire Back Against States Gun Exemptions...

    This is a WorldNetDaily printer-friendly version of the article which follows.
    To view this item online, visit Washington drops hammer on state gun plan


    Wednesday, July 22, 2009
    WEAPONS OF CHOICE
    WorldNetDaily Exclusive
    Look what Washington's up to now with your guns ...
    'As you may know, federal law … supersedes the act'
    Posted: July 21, 2009
    9:14 pm Eastern

    By Bob Unruh

    WorldNetDaily
    Federal gun regulators have written to gun dealers around Tennessee, dropping the hammer on a new state law that exempts weapons made, sold and used inside the state from interstate regulations.

    The letter, dated just days ago, was distributed to holders of Federal Firearms Licenses.

    In it, Carson W. Carroll, the assistant director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told dealers the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act, adopted this year, "purports to exempt personal firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition manufactured in the state, and which remain in the state, from most federal firearms laws and regulations."

    The exemption is not right, the federal agency letter contends.

    "As you may know, federal law requires a license to engage in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition, or to deal in firearms, even if the firearms or ammunition remain with the same state," the letter said. "All firearms manufactured by a licensee must be properly marked. Additionally, each licensee must record the type, model, caliber or gauge, and serial number of each firearm manufactured or otherwise acquired, and the date such manufacture or other acquisition was made.

    "These, as well as other federal requirements and prohibitions, apply whether or not the firearms or ammunition have crossed state lines," the letter said.

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    The law was adopted by the state Legislature this year. It provides that "federal laws and regulations do not apply to personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition that is manufactured in Tennessee and remains in Tennessee." It also carries exemptions for certain types of weapons and ammunition and the requirement that all firearms made or sold in the state have "Made in Tennessee" on them.

    Tennessee is not the first state to move in this direction. WND reported earlier that Utah was considering such a plan, and the state of Montana earlier adopted its own gun exemption procedure.


    Montana statehouse
    Montana's bill provides that guns, ammo, accessories, silencers and other products made, sold and used in the state would not require any federal documentation, registration, serial numbers, records check or waiting period.

    The pushback from the states comes at a time when the federal administration is replete with anti-gun activists in influential positions, including an attorney general, Eric Holder, who supported a complete handgun ban in the District of Columbia before it was tossed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The Obama administration has even pushed for a treaty that would require sportsmen who reload their ammunition to obtain a federal license.

    The Montana plan cites the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that "guarantees to the states and their people all powers not granted to the federal government elsewhere in the Constitution and reserves to the state and people of Montana certain powers as they were understood at the time that Montana was admitted to statehood in 1889."

    "The guaranty of those powers is a matter of contract between the state and people of Montana and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by Montana and the United States in 1889," the Montana plan states.

    "The regulation of intrastate commerce is vested in the states under the 9th and 10th amendments to the United States Constitution, particularly if not expressly pre-empted by federal law. Congress has not expressly pre-empted state regulation of intrastate commerce pertaining to the manufacture on an intrastate basis of firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition," it says.

    Further, state lawmakers cite the Second Amendment right of the people to "keep and bear arms as that right was understood at the time that Montana was admitted to statehood in 1889."

    The Tennessee plan includes many of the same arguments.

    The Tennessee Gun Owners website includes this comment: "And the battle begins. I don't believe this was unexpected. According to the 10th Amendment, the state has authority. Tennessee is applying its constitutional rights. The feds are saying, no, the Constitution doesn't count. Calling all lawyers!"

    In Montana, a Democrat governor signed the gun exemption law; in Tennessee, a Democrat governor allowed the gun exemptions to become law without his signature.

    At Resistnet.com, there was a discussion among hundreds of members who have stated their willingness to bring a lawsuit against the federal government over the issue.

    "The sovereign state of Tennessee should stand her ground. If people would stand up to the bully (Big Brother) we might take back some of the rights that have been stolen from us. It will not be comfortable. It will not be easy. But, it can be done, if we want it bad enough," said one participant.

    One other was a little less eloquent, but his message came through.

    "This is a crock! This is a free state and it's time to tell the thieves in Washington to butt out."

    The weapons definitions are part of a general move on the part of states – Alaska being the most recent – to simply declare their sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment.

    About three dozen states have begun working on such plans.

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signed House Joint Resolution just days ago. It "claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."

    The joint resolution does not carry the force of law, but supporters say it is a significant move toward getting their message out to other lawmakers, the media and grassroots movements.

    While seven states – Tennessee, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Alaska and Louisiana – have had both houses of their legislatures pass similar decrees, Palin signed Alaska's Tenth Amendment declaration and Tennessee's governor signed that state's Tenth Amendment declaration of sovereignty.
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    Senior Member Array 2edgesword's Avatar
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    There was never any doubt that the federal government was going to challenge these state laws. The question now is how far they are willing to go to enforce the federal law and what the states will do in response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2edgesword View Post
    There was never any doubt that the federal government was going to challenge these state laws. The question now is how far they are willing to go to enforce the federal law and what the states will do in response.
    Agreed.

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    Sesession!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    I think that was the point. Tennessee wanted to send a message to the feds. I think the feds got the message. Now let's see what happens.

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    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landor View Post
    I think that was the point. Tennessee wanted to send a message to the feds. I think the feds got the message. Now let's see what happens.
    Actually the feds got the message and counter-attacked. It is now up to the States.

    One way to foil the Feds would be for each state to pass a law for "in-state firearms transfers/sales" that specifically exempts the federal transfer requirements by making "in state sales/transfers" a FTF deal even when conducted between individuals who have not met in person.

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    This is the e-mail alert sent out today by Gary Marbut, of the Montana Shooting Sports Association.

    The BATFE is resorting to scare tactics, pure and simple.

    Dear MSSA Friends,

    There's been a lot of chatter on the Net today about the "open" letters the BATFE has recently issued to Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) in Montana and Tennessee claiming that the Firearms Freedom Acts passed in Montana and Tennessee are trumped by federal law.

    Two primary news stories about this today are at CBS News and World Net Daily.

    Such a response to the state-made guns bills by the BATFE has been expected, and is not particularly disturbing, for several reasons:

    1) The letters are addressed only to FFLs and purport to assert authority only over those licensees already under the federal thumb because of their licenses. We've always assumed that people with existing FFLs would not be players in the state-made guns exercise because they will not wish to risk thwarting the earned reputation the BATFE has for vindictiveness. The letters are not addressed to non-FFLs, those folks who are potential participants in the state-made guns business.

    2) The BATFE letters may lack any official import because they are not signed by the official who appears in the signature block, but by some unknown other person. It's difficult to place much credence in a missive upon which the purported issuing person is unwilling to put his signature, and for which the signer is unknown.

    3) The essence of the letter is a declaration that the laws that the BATFE enforces supercede the U.S. Constitution and the Tenth Amendment. I understand that the BATFE hopes that is so, but that's far from proven yet. (We still recommend that nobody make these state-made guns until we can litigate and vet the principles involved.)

    4) The letters, if they are official even though unsigned by the issuer, will help us establish standing to get this issue squarely before the federal courts. The feds have thrown down the gauntlet.

    That's why MSSA is asking for donations - so we can get this into court ASAP. Our target date for filing our lawsuit is about a month away. Please send whatever you can.

    You can make your check payable to "MSSA", and mark "MFFA" (for Montana Firearms Freedom Act) in the memo line. Any such donations to MSSA are not tax deductible (hey, we don't want the hassle or political limitations associated with becoming a tax exempt entity).

    Mail your check to:

    MSSA
    P.O. Box 4924
    Missoula, Montana 59806

    OR, you can use the PayPal button in the upper left of the MSSA Website front page to make a credit card donation. Just go to:
    Montana Shooting Sports Association

    Gary Marbut, president
    Montana Shooting Sports Association


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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    I like the "state-made" firearms thought.

    I would also like to see a state work around the various full-auto / burst-fire Fed. requirements by issuing some type of battle rifle and training (sort of like the Swiss) made up of a volunteer militia, where the volunteer could pay for the firearm and training, if that was an issue.

    This would not prevent someone from jumping through all the other hoops if they wanted to own othe firearms. I was hoping maybe a northern state with +50% firearm ownership or some boarder state.

    Would fit under, "regulated militia" of 2A, and this volunteer militia charter would include something like, "...trained and structured to rapidly respond against foreign aggression."
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    What they are doing is making it a condition of License. Since BATFE issues licenses it can then make conditions to the licensee's. Its how they get around the state rights things. It goes back to their roots as a Revenue generating "getting around the constitution" that way branch. Its not unconstitutional because, well, we only require you to have a license... and do it our way in order to keep your license.

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    This might be a non issue, but what happens when someone gets a "state made" firearm and then moves out of state? Also who would "police" that activity?

    Would said "state made" firearm be illegal to take out of that state? Maybe I'm looking too beep into the rabbit hole, but that's one of the first thoughts I had when I heard about all this...
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    Quote Originally Posted by yzcrasher View Post
    This might be a non issue, but what happens when someone gets a "state made" firearm and then moves out of state? Also who would "police" that activity?

    Would said "state made" firearm be illegal to take out of that state? Maybe I'm looking too beep into the rabbit hole, but that's one of the first thoughts I had when I heard about all this...
    I think the idea is that would be illegal because the ATF would be able to claim jurisdiction since it would be interstate commerce. Or something like that.

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    At one point firearms didn't have serial numbers, it seems. I like the idea of not using them again. My old Stevens shotgun never had one. I'd like to see the states continue to assert themselves and win on this issue, as it would make it much harder for any "Big Brother" to round up our firearms. At the least, the willingness of the states to assert themselves in this issue by itself sends a message.
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    Funny how when the senate tried to pass nationwide reciprocity Chucky Schumer and his minions were screaming about states rights. What happened to states rights where this issue is concerned?
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    Quote Originally Posted by automatic slim View Post
    Funny how when the senate tried to pass nationwide reciprocity Chucky Schumer and his minions were screaming about states rights. What happened to states rights where this issue is concerned?
    Politicians have a very selective memory. They only cry about states rights when it suits their agenda.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yzcrasher View Post
    This might be a non issue, but what happens when someone gets a "state made" firearm and then moves out of state? Also who would "police" that activity?

    Would said "state made" firearm be illegal to take out of that state? Maybe I'm looking too beep into the rabbit hole, but that's one of the first thoughts I had when I heard about all this...
    I don't think it would be illegal since it's not commerce to move yourself and your property to another state. You own it on both sides of the border; no transaction is taking place that could be considered interstate commerce. Would you pay sales tax on all your possessions if you move to a new state?

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