” After a vote of 28-21 in the state Senate on Wednesday, March 13, Montana is moving toward being the first state in the country to approve a bill prohibiting the enforcement of a potential federal ban on semiautomatic firearms and large-capacity magazines within its borders. The bill, HB 302, also calls for criminal penalties for any employee, official, or officer of either the state or federal government who enforces such a measure within Montana.
House Bill 302, the “Montana Federal Semiautomatic Firearm and Large Magazine Ban Enforcement Prohibition Act,” passed the state House 56-42 on February 22. Because the original bill was amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee, both legislative chambers need to reconcile the two versions of the bill.
Montana’s nullification efforts against gun control are not without historical precedent. Historian Thomas Woods has written an excellent brief history of state nullification of federal laws in his article, “The States’ Rights Tradition Nobody Knows.” In recent years, dozens of states have introduced nullification-type legislation to stop Real ID, affirm the Tenth Amendment, reject a federal mandate to buy healthcare insurance, and to reject federal firearm laws for guns manufactured, sold, and used intrastate (known as Firearms Freedom Acts or FFA). Not just in Montana, but all across the country, sheriffs and legislators are acting to nullify proposed federal gun controls.
The total number of states that have introduced pro-Second Amendment nullification bills in their state legislatures currently stands at 32. These states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
- Don’t Comply. Nullify! (txwclp.org)
- Montana NDAA Nullification Bill Passes House Committee, 20-0 (tenthamendmentcenter.com)
- Montana Senate Vote to Nullify Federal Gun Bans, 28-21 (tenthamendmentcenter.com)
- State Nullification and the Supremacy Clause (sgtreport.com)
- 3 More States Propose Bills to Resist Federal Gun Control (2012thebigpicture.wordpress.com)
- Texas lawmakers seek protection from federal gun laws (mysanantonio.com)
- Montana House Votes 98-0 To Approve Anti-NDAA Bill (dailypaul.com)
- Montana bill targeting assault-rifle ban advances (billingsgazette.com)
- Montana Senate backs prohibiting enforcement of federal gun ban (missoulian.com)