Montana Lawmakers Approve Bill to Skip Firearms Reporting Transactions
HELENA, Mont. The Associated Press reports that Montana lawmakers letting some Montana gun owners and dealers skip reporting their transactions to the federal government.
Under House Bill 246, firearms made in Montana and used in Montana would be exempt from federal regulation. The same would be true for firearm accessories and ammunition made and sold in the state.
The House voted 64-36 for the bill. If it clears a final vote, the measure will go to the Senate.
What we need here is for Montana to be able to handle Montanas business and affairs, Republican Rep. Joel Boniek told fellow lawmakers Saturday.
Bonieks measure aims to circumvent federal authority over interstate commerce, which is the legal basis for most gun regulation in the United States.
The bill potentially could release Montanans from both federal gun registration requirements and dealership licensing rules. Since the state has no background-check laws on its own books, the legislation also could free gun purchasers from that requirement.
Firearms are inextricably linked to the history and culture of Montana, and Id like to support that, Boniek said. But I want to point out that the issue here is not about firearms. Its about state rights.