WASHINGTON --- The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, joined by a coalition of Montana and national gun violence prevention, law enforcement, and domestic violence groups, filed a “friend of the court” brief today in the U.S. District Court for Montana urging the Court to strike down the Montana “Firearms Freedom Act” as unconstitutional and a dangerous threat to our communities and our nation’s security.
“This law is unconstitutional, misguided, and a threat to public safety and national security,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Center. “This law would eliminate Brady background checks in Montana, making it easier for dangerous people to get guns, while allowing the sale of virtually untraceable firearms.”
The Montana “Firearms Freedom Act” seeks to exempt Montana-made firearms from federal laws requiring background checks to keep guns away from criminals and record keeping that allows law enforcement to trace crime guns. It would allow the sale of guns, illegal under federal law, that can evade metal detectors and would allow the manufacture of armor-piercing ammunition banned by federal law.
The Montana law could exempt Montana-made guns from the federal “Gun Free School Zones” law and the ban on guns in federal facilities and courthouses located in Montana. It would allow teenagers to possess handguns despite a federal law prohibiting handgun possession by anyone under 18. All told, it would allow unlimited sales of virtually untraceable firearms without background checks or records of sale, endangering public safety and national security.
The law firm Proskauer and Montana attorney Cynthia Wolken are representing, on a pro bono basis, the Brady Center and other groups filing the brief.
Joining the Brady Center’s brief are Montanans Against Gun Violence, Montana Human Rights Network, International Brotherhood of Police Officers, National Black Police Association, Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence.