|Image from Gary Marbut website via Mother Jones|
Gary Marbut has a dream: a single shot, bolt-action, made-in-Missoula, .22 caliber rifle called the Montana Buckaroo. For the time being, the Buckaroo, adapted from an expired 1899 patent and intended for use by small children, exists only on paper. "Our attorneys have insisted that I NOT complete EVEN ONE Buckaroo," Marbut (said). ...And, it's become popular elsewhere in wingnuttia:
That's because Marbut's real target isn't the 5- to 10-year-old skeet-shooting demographic—it's the United States Supreme Court. His goal is to effectively nullify decades of federal gun law, and he thinks he's found a trick no one else has tried. In 2009, Marbut pushed a law through the Montana Legislature asserting the state's partial immunity from federal gun regulations, and then sued the Department of Justice for the right to follow through. Under his scheme, the federal government would be helpless to regulate firearm production or distribution—so long as the guns in question never cross state lines.
Lawmakers in 34 states have introduced copycat versions of Marbut's Firearms Freedom Act, six of them in the five weeks since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. All told, nine state attorneys general have signed onto an amicus brief supporting him; eight governors have signed it into law. The National Rifle Association supports Marbut's law; so does the Cato Institute.Gee, shock me. Now, as gun control gets debated at the federal level, will some non-skittish House or Senate Democrat bring this issue up, including the NRA support of it, to further slap it and Wayne La Pierre down?
If only he had tried this in the 1960s, and the Warren Court would then have fully federalized the Second Amendment. (More on that in a moment.)
I would still say that if the bullets come out of state, he and any buyers would still be nailed that way, with penumbras of 2nd Amdt + Interstate Commerce Clause. I would also say that because the first clause of the second amendment is the primary clause, the need for a well-regulated militia, combined with the federal government having power over National Guard activations, he would fail that way.
Meanwhile, Marbut was first squelched in federal district court, upholding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shutting him down for not having a federal gun manufacture license. The case has been accepted for oral argument on appeal by the Ninth Circuit, though.
Meanwhile, does Marbut have a snowball's chance on this case? Will the "originalists" in the court system support him if this goes all the way to the Supreme Court?
Speaking of .... from the story:
(E)ven Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia thinks the federal government can regulate the plants you grow in your backyard.Very few biblical fundamentalists are so fundamentalist as to still believe in a flat earth. Likewise, Nino and gang are generally pretty damned selective in the name of conservative judicial activism about their originalism. So, that counterargument by Mother Jones doesn't necessarily carry much water.
Besides, going back to originalist arguments — James Madison wanted to federalize the Bill of Rights when it was first written.
That said, this is also just another sign that, contra originalist nuts like Nino Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, a constitution written in pre-modern times for a population 1/80th of today's, and with states more nearly equal in size, etc., is about as intelligent as biblical fundamentalism, which it closely parallels.
It's irrelevant in a day of machine guns, as well as of nuclear weapons, etc.
If Marbut decided to start a backyard nuclear centrifuge, then get somebody in Montana to make an atomic shell-firing howitzer (our military had them already in the 1950s), what would the NRA say then?