The NRA Refuses To Support The Firearms Freedom Act

The Tenth Amendment of our Constitution reads:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In case you haven’t heard there is a movement across America referred to as the ‘Firearm Freedom Act.’ This particular legislation is designed and intended to allow states to assert their Tenth Amendment rights under our Constitution, in the opinion of state legislators, to manufacture and sell firearms and ammunition for use only within the state boundaries where the items were made without federal oversight and regulation.–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.

Since its passage in Montana, a clone of the Firearms Freedom Act has been enacted in Tennessee, and has been introduced in the legislatures of Alaska, Texas, South Carolina, Minnesota and Florida. Legislators in many other states have announced that they will introduce FFA clones when their legislatures next convene.

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 state’s rights exercise…..

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Apparently the National Rifle Association disagrees with this approach as evidenced by the release of this memo in their “America’s 1st Freedom” magazine this month.

“Firearms Freedom Act”

One issue that’s received a lot of publicity this year is the “Firearms Freedom Act”–state legislation that tries to exempt firearms, ammunition and accessories from federal regulation, as long as the gun or other item is made in a single state, for use only in that state. This legislation was enacted this year in Montana and Tennessee, and proposed elsewhere.

The idea behind the legislation is to challenge federal guns laws in court. While reducing federal controls is a worthy goal, this kind of litigation faces major obstacles–mainly because the Supreme Court has given Congress a very long leach when it comes to activities that could affect interstate commerce. (For example, just four years ago, the Supreme Court held that the federal government could still enforce federal drug laws against Californians who grow their own marijuana for medical use.) Because of these issues, the NRA will continue to focus on the other kinds of pro-gun legislation described in these pages.

An even more important point is that no one should try to take advantage of the Montana or Tennessee “Firearms Freedom Acts” without consulting a competent attorney and being prepared to pay large legal fees. Anyone who makes firearms commercially, without complying with federal law, is likely to be prosecuted. “Firearms freedom Act” supporters have never planned to test these laws in criminal cases, and no one who puts himself in that situation should expect support from the NRA.

Damn, talk about a buzz kill….

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