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|2nd Amendment Discuss the politics of the 2nd.|
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“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. 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. Firearms transaction records and NICS background checks must be conducted prior to disposition of firearms to unlicensed persons. These, as well as other Federal requirements and prohibitions, apply whether or not the firearms or ammunition have crossed state lines.In a report filed by CBS News, it seems to indicate that even though these states are claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment, the Federal Government may have power over such gun laws as the Firearms Freedom Act, via the Commerce Clause.
Read literally, the Tenth Amendment seems to suggest that the federal government’s powers are limited only to what it has been “delegated,” and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1918 confirmed that the amendment “carefully reserved” some authority “to the states.” That view is echoed by statements made at the time the Constitution was adopted; New Hampshire explicitly said that states kept “all powers not expressly and particularly delegated” to the federal government.World Net Daily points out in an article of their own that the Montana Firearms Freedom Act bill declares that 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”.
More recently, federal courts have interpreted the Tenth Amendment narrowly, in a way that justifies almost any law on grounds that it intends to regulate interstate commerce.
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.I like Montana’s approach to their action in the creation of their Firearms Freedom Act. They are proactively seeking to bring this issue to the courts for a ruling. They believe in their own state’s constitution and that they, according to their contract with the people and the United States Government, have the sovereignty and freedom under the U.S. Constitution, to make their own laws in matters such as this.
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.