In a package of stories, Time reports on a multistate gun movement that is turning for legal support to the 10th Amendment, not the 2nd. The 10th Amendment declares, “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.” It inspired the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion that swept the West three decades ago. Now the Amendment is being invoked by pro-gun advocates to press for state, rather than federal, regulation of gun manufacturers.
Montana has passed a law allowing local gun manufacturers to sidestep federal regulations as long as the weapons they make are sold within the territory of the state. Texas, Tennesseee, Alaska and Utah also are taking up variations of “Firearms Freedom Acts.” The Montana law was drafted by the Montana Shooting Sports Association, which has said it will support what it is likely to be a lengthy legal fight in the federal court system to affirm or strike down the law. Plans call for the association to find a pristine individual who will manufacture and sell 20 rifles without applying for a mandatory federal dealer’s license.