Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Last Best Place Proves Why It Is

I know full well that I may get flamed on this post -- and maybe by both sides -- but here goes.

A very interesting battle is shaping up in the great state of Montana, and I'm surprised (but shouldn't be) that the drive-by media hasn't weighed in on it more.

You can read the full AP story here, but I'll try to condense it as I see it. Like many independent-minded, self-reliant folks, Montanans were upset with the federal government's increased meddling in virtually every aspect of their lives (tea parties, anyone?). So the Montana legislature passed (and the governor signed) a bill that exempts from federal law any gun or ammunition manufactured in the Big Sky State, as long as it's only sold and used within its sovereign borders. No registrations, no wait periods, and no background checks. Texas and Alaska are considering similar legislation.

I doubt that Smith and Wesson is talking to relocation experts just yet. But as a man who appreciates fine firearms, the thought of a law that encourages the guild gun trade in the U.S. is exciting to me. Hell, since I'm an out-of-stater, I'd even subject myself to Uncle Sam's rules to get a custom-made, limited run bird gun that's built just for me. Yet another reason to go to Montana again this fall, right?

I suppose it's a gun control issue, but like many, I agree that it's more about the Tenth Amendment than it is the Second Amendment. I give Montana a lot of credit for forcing the issue and standing up to Washington. But in all honesty, I think the bill's supporters have an uphill battle, since it would be a tall order to ensure a gun bought for in-state use didn't leave Montana. Predictably, the antis are screeching a similar tune, but for all the wrong reasons.

"Guns cross state lines and they do so constantly," says Peter Hamm, a mouthpiece for the anti-gun Brady Campaign. "This is a Sagebrush Rebellion-type effort to light some sort of fire and get something going that's pleasing to the gun nuts and that has very little actual sense."

No, Mr. Hamm, you're wrong. Thinking that a thug from South Central LA will travel to Kalispell to pay $7,000 for a custom Mauser makes ZERO sense. Let's enforce laws that are already on the books that are meant to punish the bad guys who use guns to commit crimes. Once we figure that out, then we'll argue about harassing the good folks in Montana.

You heard it here first, folks.


  1. Hell, I LOVE Montana. One the many excellent places in fly-over country.

    I admire the starch to pass such a law, but Montana gegan it's fall from grace when the state buckled under pressure from the Feds to impose a SPEED LIMIT in order to keep receiving federal highway funds.

    Big Brother is out there. Doesn't like us much, but he is pretty sure he knows what is good for him... I mean US.

  2. There's an interesting study on economic and personal freedom in each of the 50 states that was just published here: http://www.mercatus.org/PublicationDetails.aspx?id=26154
    I find it interesting that places like Texas, Kansas, and Virginia all rank pretty high on the freedom scale. Montana does well and would do better if this study didn't place as much importance on the libertarian issue of pot legalization.