To absolutely no one’s surprise, the federal government is once again trying to tread in areas where it has no business being. In this particular case, it wants to control gun markets that states are perfectly capable of handling, and it’s using recent tragedies involving guns to try to justify its involvement.
Fortunately, a number of states are making their voices heard on the subject. In 2009, Montana passed the Firearms Freedom Act, which states that the Commerce Clause allowing Congress to regulate inter-state commerce does not apply to the in-state manufacturing, selling and ownership of firearms. Other states, including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Washington, are trying to pass similar legislation.
But – and there’s always a but when it comes to the feds – the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has said that federal law supersedes state law. The goal for states is to push a decision all the way up to the Supreme Court. The focus of the fight may be the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which limits federal power, rather than the 2nd Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms.
Take a look at this Fox News article, “Push to Keep Feds out of State Gun Markets Gains Momentum.” It explains how this fight is more about the mom-and-pop companies making and selling guns in their states than it is the big gun companies, which sell nationwide and are therefore already governed by federal law.
Should the federal government have the right to control the manufacturing and sales of firearms within a particular state, or should individual states be handling this? What do you think are the potential upsides or downsides to federal control in this area? I’d love to hear from you on this important topic.