March 14, 2021
Dear Senator Tester,
Why is a national firearms registry unsuitable for Montana?
First, there is the constitutional issue. There is no
federal requirement that journalists or churches must be
registered with the federal government in order to be legal doing
what they do. That is because freedom of the press and
freedom of religion is protected from government interference by
the First Amendment. Ditto with firearms and the Second
Second, the allegation that criminals will somehow register their
firearms is false. Actually, the courts have held that
criminals cannot be required to register firearms because that
would violate their right to freedom from
self-incrimination. Logically and axiomatically, a national
firearms registry would only apply to people who don't violate
laws - non-criminals. It is specifically law-abiding people
who are the target of a national firearms registry.
Third, it is nobody's business what firearms a Montana citizen
possesses, including it is not the business of the federal
government. In addition to violating the Second Amendment, a
national firearms registry would violate the right to privacy that
is overtly declared in the Montana Constitution at Article II,
Section 10, and inferred under the U.S. Constitution.
Fourth, the only logical reason the federal government could have
for wanting a national registry of firearms is so that government
officials would know where those firearms are. This would
make it easier for government agents to collect those firearms if
so desired, or to criminalize otherwise law-abiding people who
failed surrender such firearms upon government demand. This
has actually happened in Australia, Canada, and California.
It is almost certainly the unstated goal of a national firearms
registry to prepare for some form of firearm confiscation, either
sudden or gradual. Montana people understand this.
The intent of the British military adventures at Lexington and
Concord was to confiscate American arms and ammunition.
That's why Americans shot the British and created a new nation
that would respect liberty and the right to keep and bear
arms. Creating and attempting to enforce a national firearms
registry would be anti-liberty and an extremely provocative
Please oppose a national firearms registry and also oppose any
incremental steps to achieve a national firearms registry, such as
"universal background checks."
Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana