Montana goveror signs law blocking enforcement of new federal gun control laws without state approval

With Democrats in control of Congress and the White House, there has been a lot of talk about imposing strict new gun control laws, such as bans on so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines, among a variety of other limitations and infringements upon the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms.

Any new restrictions will have little or no impact on gun owners in Montana, however, now that Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) has signed into law a bill that seeks to nullify federal firearms laws at the state and local level, as The Hill reports.

Second Amendment secured

It was on Friday that Gov. Gianforte signed into law the bill that aims to protect gun owners in the state by prohibiting the enforcement of new federal prohibitions that violate the rights enshrined within the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

“Today, I proudly signed Rep. Hinkle’s law prohibiting federal overreach into our Second Amendment-protected rights, including any federal ban on firearms,” the governor tweeted. “I will always protect our #2A right to keep and bear arms.”

State-level nullification

According to the Associated Press, the new law prohibits state and local law enforcement officials from enforcing or implementing — or aiding in the enforcement and implementation of — any new bans or regulations related to firearms, ammunition, magazines, or related accessories.

The measure also prohibits the expenditure of any state funds for the enforcement or implementation of such new laws and regulations at the federal level.

Democrats critical of this new law have argued that it will likely endanger individuals and communities by hampering cooperation between local, state, and federal officials — but notably, it’s not likely they’ve been singing that tune when it comes to enforcing immigration laws.

The AP reported separately in March that at least a dozen Republican-led states were considering similar measures to protect law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment from potential overreach and infringements at the federal level.

Some of those proposals are stricter than others, such as including criminal penalties for state and local officials who aid the feds, and not all of the measures will be signed into law, or if so, survive the inevitable legal challenges ahead. Nevertheless, the symbolic point is being made that — at least in those states — the Second Amendment is sacrosanct and will be protected.

Constitutional carry, too?

This isn’t the only good news on the gun rights front in Montana. The Montana Free Press reports that Gov. Gianforte in February signed into law a bill granting the right of “constitutional carry” for law-abiding adults in the state, meaning that with very few exceptions, Montanans can carry a concealed handgun wherever they choose without having to first obtain a license or permit from the state, as is the case in many other less gun-friendly states.

With very narrow margins of control in the two chambers of Congress, it was already going to be difficult for Democrats to pass any strict new gun control laws. Now, even if they somehow do, it will be even harder for the feds to actually implement and enforce those new laws in states like Montana.

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11 Responses

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  2. Problem is Biden will withhold any and all federal funds. States will probably cave. They did this with the mandatory 55 speed limit which no one enforced. They started withholding federal funds and states folded.

    1. A state may challenge the constitutionality of a federal statute by filing a lawsuit in court seeking to declare the federal law unconstitutional. Such a lawsuit is decided by the courts, with the Supreme Court having final jurisdiction.

      1. Hope our court would stand with the Constitution not the liberals trying to destroy the US If they continue we are headed for another civil war to protect our rights

  3. Good for Gov. Greg Gianforte. Biden and company want to punish all Americans for the actions of a few idiots. How about just executing anyone who uses firearms in an illegal manner. Putting them in front of a firing squad and then releasing the video of their execution should make “would be” killers think twice.

  4. 2nd try. Guess I can’t use the word that starts with an”s” and ends with a”t” when describing the democratic party. But I said you governors should follow Montana and not let the governing party interpret the constitution the way they want it.

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