Montana Law Short-Circuits Federal Gun Laws
This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 15, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be the best that you can be. We don't want our government to do anything for us. We want everything we can do for the United States of America.
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GLENN BECK, HOST: That was one month ago today, believe it or not, when we were at the Alamo. We're back with our special, "The Civilest of Wars," which I'm pretty sure isn't a word. And I'm pretty sure that Stephen Colbert will point that out.
It is part of the 9/12 Project, how you're going to take your country back. And first, I have to say, Patti Ann, you are — I mean, a round of applause. That was brilliant. I was throwing (UNINTELLIGIBLE) an M & M and she didn't — I said in the commercial break, let's see how professional (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
PATTI ANN BROWNE, FOX NEWS: I didn't really think he was going to throw me an M & M. He said he was going to. Well, he did.
BECK: Well, I keep my word. OK. Let me go to Gary — I'm sorry, Gary. How do you say your last name?
GARY MARBUT, AUTHOR, "GUN LAWS": Marbut —
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BECK: And Joel Boniek. I'm sorry, I don't have my glasses. Joel and Gary are from Montana. You can tell because you don't see a lot of these on the streets of New York. Gary, this was actually your idea, this gun law. You started it. Tell me the theory behind it.
MARBUT: Well, the theory is to challenge the commerce clause power of Congress with a Tenth Amendment spin. What the bill says — there's now a law in Montana — is that any firearms, ammunitions and firearms accessories made and retained in Montana are simply not subject to any federal jurisdiction under the power of Congress to regulate commerce among the states.
BECK: OK. Joel, you put this in. You're a state rep. You put it in. The governor signed it. It's now law. It goes into effect October 1st?
REP. JOEL BONIEK, MONTANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Correct.
BECK: OK. Why did you do this?
BONIEK: I believe that the purpose of government is to protect our life, liberty and our property. And when I saw this idea, I had been aware that the federal government has been overreaching in its power for a long time. And I thought, you know, this is something that appeals to me. And I didn't go to the legislature to be rubber stamped for more regulation. I went there to protect people's freedom, and this is a great vehicle to do that.
BECK: OK. So Gary, how does this work now? I go in and I buy — I mean, I don't have to have a federal background check on guns if this goes in?
MARBUT: Once this begins to bear fruit, that's correct. We plan to litigate this through the courts. And we have some other strategies we are working to effectuate this, but we all have to wait until it is resolved in the courts, I think.
BECK: OK. What would you say if I said to you, "I think a background check is not necessarily a bad idea"? You don't want some guy and going — I was in a gun store in Pennsylvania. I'm not kidding you. Two people walked in, some, you know, 20-year-old dope and his girlfriend, and he is like, "Well, what do you want?" And she said, "I don't know. That one's kind of cute, the pink one. I like that one."
I just looked at the guy behind the counter and I said, "Don't sell them a firearm." He did. I mean, I think we should have some standards. What do you say about standards - having some kind of standard?
MARBUT: We don't have those kinds of people in Montana. Or at least —
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
BECK: You don't like (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Montana. You're right. You're right.
MARBUT: At least we have fewer of them than you do. We want to set our own standards and we should be allowed to have guns and we don't want the federal standards. We're not the same as New Jersey or California or somewhere else.
And if we want to put restrictions on who can possess firearms, they should be our restrictions and should fit our culture and our people.
BECK: But people will say — Kevin and judge, people will say, "We're all part of a union. We all have to work together." Kevin, you're smiling like this and it doesn't have a shot in hell of working.
KEVIN GUTZMAN, AUTHOR, "POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION": Well, there are two levels to approach this question. One is on the theoretical level. On the theoretical level, the gentlemen are exactly right. The federal government is grabbing power to regulate these things and anything else that comes to mind that it's not supposed to have. And so I applaud them.
And trying to figure out a way to confront the federal government and get it to rein itself in is a good idea. On the other hand, practically, the first time this matter comes into a federal court, it's tossed.
JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Well, I think the more states that do it, the more pressure there will be on the Congress to realize that the states are serious about preventing the Congress from taking power away from it.
For example, if this were extended another step further, like the state of Montana forbids all police, local, regional and state, from enforcing federal laws in Montana. The federal government simply lacks the resources and the money to enforce all of its laws without the states helping them. So the more piling on there is, the more judges will realize, hey, something is going on here.
BECK: Leo, let me go to you, because you are a representative in the state of Texas. With Texas — you guys get it. And no offense, Montana, but Texans are going to come up and kick your butts. You guys are also — are you going to be taking Gary's amendment? Is that what you are trying to do? What are you doing in Texas?
REP. LEO BERMAN, TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We've already filed his bill in Texas. But he'll have the court case in Montana. But Glenn, I'm a 9/12er. I served 22 years in the military because I love this country, just like you do. And we say that we fought against fascism, communism.
We watched socialist countries throughout the world just languish while we prospered based on free enterprise and individual freedoms. We see this president and this administration taking us not to the far-left, but beyond that to socialism. We don't want to go there.
So Rep. Brandon Creighton and I filed two bills in Texas. The bills don't really need to pass because 30 other states did essentially the same thing. But what these bills do is reassert our sovereignty under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.
And we tell the federal government that if they mandate anything on us which is not fully authorized by the U.S. Constitution, we're going to challenge it and not do it. That's the only thing we can possibly do right now.
We don't want to become a socialist state. We want to challenge the federal government and I think we can do it. If we get all the state governors together to pull their resources, and anytime the federal government comes out with a mandate that's not authorized by the Constitution, we take it right into federal court, all of us at the same time.
BECK: All right. We're going to come back here in just a second. We want to give you some information on all the stuff that we're talking about. You go to GlennBeck.com and sign up for the free e-mail news letter. It's going to go out tonight. And it's all of this including is a step-by-step instruction, a how-to guide in getting a law like this in your state.
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