The National Rifle Association has been taking a low profile when it comes to the firearms freedom acts that have passed in seven states and provoked a growing legal battle.

The firearms freedom act was first launched last year in the Montana Legislature, pushed by local gun advocates. The new laws state that guns made and sold within a state’s borders are exempt from federal gun control under Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce.

A lawsuit filed last year by Montana gun advocates following passage of the law argued the state should decide which rules, if any, would control the sale and purchase of guns and paraphernalia made in Montana. The state would then be exempt from rules on federal gun registration, background checks and dealer-licensing.

Several attorneys general have since joined the legal fight, but it seems the NRA is remaining on the sidelines. One possible reason lies in the odds of winning the lawsuit.

The NRA’s Chris Cox has previously told gun owners that he thinks the litigation faces many hurdles because the Supreme Court has given Congress “a very long reach.” Similarly, the U.S. Department of Justice doesn’t think the lawsuit has merit, either, asking a federal court in Missoula to dismiss the firearms freedom act lawsuit. The Justice Department argues states can’t exempt themselves from national gun control laws. The agency says that federal gun control is a “valid exercise of Congress’ commerce power under the Constitution.”

David Codrea, an NRA member and active gun rights columnist, said the NRA likely believes the legal fight is a losing one, and understands the high-profile group doesn’t want to give its anti-gun opponents ammunition by taking on a high-profile loss.

Source: The State Column

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