Nine States have passed some form of a Firearms Freedom Act ( FFA )
Montana was the first State to pass the Firearms Freedom Act ( FFA ) do so in 2009 and Kansas was most recent State to pass legislation in 2013. Over a dozen other States have introduced legislation but have been unsuccessful in getting it passed.
Well, a Firearms Freedom Act is a piece of legislation that numerous States have passed in order to prohibit Federal intrusion upon a citizen’s Second Amendment rights.
While the actual text varies State by State, Firearms Freedom Acts generally declare that the Federal Government may not restrict a citizen’s right to manufacture or possess firearms as long as they are made and kept entirely within said State and are clearly stamped “Made In [Whatever State Here].” This exemption also applies to ammunition and firearm accessories but not to fully automatic weapons, those larger then 1 1/2inch bore using smokeless power, weapons that require more than one person to operate or explosive ammunition.
Many people have labeled FFA legislation a “Tenth Amendment challenge to the Commerce Clause” and I think that sums it up perfectly.
States are attempting to challenge the authority of the Federal government in regulating intrastate commerce. They are claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights which reads; “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Feds have exploited this Commerce Clause at every opportunity; from the Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act and the 1995 United States v. Lopez case, to the Controlled Substance Abuse Act and the 2005 Gonzales v. Raich case over medical marijuana and even the 1942 Wikard v. Filburn case over how much wheat a farmer could grow under the New Deal era Agricultural Adjustment Act. The Federal Government has not only stepped on State’s rights they have literally crushed them.
Passing Firearms Freedom Acts is a way States are pushing back against an overbearing Federal Government but also protecting the Second Amendment at the same time. Some people have called them mostly symbolic and that may very well be the case but I think they also send a clear message to the Feds about the Second Amendment; “Back Off.” Lawful citizens from all around the country are getting fed up with the massive calls (or should I say threats) for “gun control” after every tragic event that the media can exploit. We explored this topic further in our earlier post, take a look if you have time: History of gun control
(Note: The Montana Firearms Freedom Act is currently making its way through the court system and a petition has been filed with SCOTUS to hear the case.)
About The Author
Travis Box is currently a college student studying American history with a concentration on the Constitution, Revolutionary War, politics and legislation. As an active hunter for 5 years and a recreational marksman for over a decade, his writing brings with it years of real world experience from both the field and the range.