The Battle Over Buckaroo: Suit Challenges Congress’ Right to Regulate Guns

Nathan Koppel|WallStreetJournal

Lawsuits about gun rights typically involve a close parsing of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

But Montana gun enthusiast Gary Marbut is trying to expand gun rights through a different prism: a lawsuit claiming the Tenth Amendment limits the federal government’s authority to regulate gun sales.

Ten state attorneys general and dozens of elected officials are backing his suit, which is pending in the 9th Circuit, as WSJ’s Jess Bravin reports in this piece.

The gun suit fits squarely within broader, ongoing legal battles over Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce, including the challenges to last year’s health-care overhaul.

Mark Meckler, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, told WSJ that Marbut has engineered “a wonderful legal approach to doing” what he considers “the fundamental issue of our time…putting government back in the box.”

At the center of Marbut’s lawsuit is the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, a state law that declares that guns made in Montana, stamped “Made in Montana” and staying in-state aren’t subject to federal regulations.

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