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Discussion Starter #1
This is to be introduced at the MT Legislature in January 2011:


The Greatest Threat to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the United States Today

by

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association


Without ammunition, our firearms are just awkward clubs, and our cherished right to Keep and Bear Arms is worthless - literally worth nothing. Let me explain this threat.

To the best of my information, there are only two plants in the United States that manufacture smokeless propellant to load ammunition for our firearms. All else is imported, from Canada, Scandinavia, Europe, Israel, and Australia primarily.

These two plants are both owned by giant defense and government contractors for whom sales of powder for civilian ammunition consumption is but a tiny fraction of their business. One is the General Dynamics plant in St. Marks, Florida, which produces for Hodgden, Winchester and others, and the Alliant plant in Connecticut which produces for the Alliant family of companies and for the Lake City Arsenal (currently under Alliant management).

If Obama were to instruct his appointed Secretary of Defense to quietly lean on these defense contractors to quit selling smokeless powder for civilian consumption or put their next contract for an aircraft carrier at risk, I believe they'd bail on civilian powder sales in a heartbeat. And, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could end smokeless powder imports tomorrow with a stroke of her pen.

Sure, some people in the U.S. have a fair amount of ammunition and reloading components squirreled away, but those supplies won't last forever. Actually, at the current rate of consumption, ammunition in supply chain and in individual possession would last between one and two years, although many lightly-inventoried people would run out in days or weeks, not months or years.

That's why the Montana Shooting Sports Association has crafted a bill for the 2011 Montana legislative session to encourage the production of smokeless powder, primers and brass on a small scale, a scale that should be reproduced on a state-by-state basis.

Many of the small countries of central and eastern Europe have their own in-country powder production. However, because of scale issues in manufacturing, these small-scale plants can only survive with significant state subsidy.

In the U.S., the incentive and legal infrastructure are a bit different. According to our novel U.S. system of political thought, the primary purpose (maybe only valid purpose) of government is to protect the liberties of the people. One essential and well-recognized liberty is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Since the RKBA is worthless without ammunition, it may be validly argued that supporting supplies of ammunition components is a legitimate government function. Thus, state subsidy of ammunition component manufacture is worthy of consideration, even by minimalist libertarians.

The bill MSSA will have before the 2011 Montana Legislature offers four incentives:

1) Provides a general, 20-year tax amnesty for any new business established in Montana to manufacture smokeless powder, primers or brass. This gives up no current state revenue because no such manufacturers exist in Montana now. And, it may stimulate new jobs in Montana. Terms for qualification and manufacturing are defined in the bill;

2) Provides product liability shelter for manufacturers;

3) Makes any such manufacturers eligible for any existing economic development programs in the state; and

4) Asserts Tenth Amendment prerogative to regulate exclusively with state regulation any chemicals used in the manufacturing process (many of the best powders are made overseas and are good because they are made using chemicals banned by the federal EPA).

The MSSA draft bill for this effort is located at:
http://www.progunleaders.org/lcq2010/powder.html

As Montana has been the source of other trail-breaking initiatives (e.g., the Montana Firearms Freedom Act), this idea is available for implementation in other states. MSSA believes it would be healthy if every state had in-state production of ammunition components sufficient to meet the needs of the state's consumers.

- End -

I'm in agreement with Gary on this issue, I feel that we are literally just pen strokes away from having HRC/BO prohibit importation of powder, primers, and brass should they choose to go that route.
 

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Uhh, in case you didn't get the memo, the 10th Amen. means no un-funded mandates. Or at least that's what SCOTUS has had to say so far on the 10th.

The Montana Firearms Freedom Act will be shot down post-haste once it gets before SCOTUS, if stare decisis still holds.

And so far as the importation of smokeless powder being banned, I'm not too sure that Hillary can do that with the stroke of a pen. But, if she could, such would be political suicide, and as such, not likely to happen.

Lotta hoopla over nuthin' We have more to concern ourselves with a ban on lead.
 

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God Bless both Utah and Montana.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Uhh, in case you didn't get the memo, the 10th Amen. means no un-funded mandates. Or at least that's what SCOTUS has had to say so far on the 10th.

The Montana Firearms Freedom Act will be shot down post-haste once it gets before SCOTUS, if stare decisis still holds.

And so far as the importation of smokeless powder being banned, I'm not too sure that Hillary can do that with the stroke of a pen. But, if she could, such would be political suicide, and as such, not likely to happen.

Lotta hoopla over nuthin' We have more to concern ourselves with a ban on lead.

You really need to work on some grammar, I have no idea what you are even trying to say. The 10th Amendment specifically deals with interstate commerce and the rights of the state v. the government. Which constitution are you referring to that has anything to do with un-funded mandates? Political suicide or not, Hillary hates gun owners and even if she were swept out of office it could be months before things are righted. Lead can't be banned by the EPA, Congress specifically prevented that in 1976.
 

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The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constituion does not deal with interstate commerce whatsoever. The 10th Amen. says "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 Interstate Commerce clause appears in Article I, Sec. 8, clause 3. It was written and approved well before the 10th Amen. was added.

The EPA most certainly can ban lead, they did it for gasoline and paint. However, the EPA cannot ban lead in ammunition. The lead bans we need to concern ourselves with come from state conservation agencies, such as California's.

What is wrong with my grammar? I don't see what you are talking about, but then again, I was not an English major. The post seems quite clear to me. Sorry if the colloquialisms in my last sentence confused anyone. (Good to see Matt is a union member, they are an endangered species nowadays)
 

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Well, belercous, I'd say that was pretty well presented and accurate. I also agree with the premise that, for now, anti-gun legislation is not much of a threat, given the mood of the country. I've been saying, for years, that they will attack ammunition and its components, first. You are also correct in that a lead ban is simply a pen-stroke away in State legislatures and not much more difficult at the Fed level.

By the way, welcome aboard and try to boost your participation a bit! :)
 

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Matt, this is a great sentiment from MT and I think your state is to be commended for at least considering such legislation, though I doubt it will get much support. The simple reality is that the US of A doesn't produce much of ANYTHING, these days...except arrogant and contemptuous politicians who gladly sign bills into law that they know full-well do not represent the actual wishes of their would-be constituents.

The other thing to keep in mind is this: IF the politicians are stopped from eroding away our gun rights, by attacking ammunition and the components thereof, there will always be a profit potential in selling said components. One traditional value that persists in American society will therefore assure we always have good quality powders to spend out greenbacks on...GREED. If a corporation, no matter how large, can make a profit on a product, they'll send their lobbyists to DC and "buy" the legislation needed to ensure that market stays open. At the risk of blurring politics and the world of guns/hunting/shooting/ammunition, etc...that's just how Washington works, these days. Big corporations buy the politicians into office so they will vote in favor of the legislation from which they will most benefit. Constituents be ******.

The upside is; as long as we keep buyin' stuff, they'll keep makin' it. :)
 

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What is this heresy?!!! Trying to create private sector jobs and enhance a clearly misunderstood “right” supposedly granted by the constitution? Do the people of Montana not know that the enlightened ones are steadfastly creating a utilitarian collective in which no guns will be necessary? No one will need to have instruments that can threaten other members of the collective or hurt poor animals. The enlightened ones are creating this wonderful society despite that fact that many of us are too ignorant to understand how great it will be. Oh it will take some time to get there. Probably another six years for the truly enlightened one to purge a few of the archaic constructionist members from the Supreme Court. Perhaps a bit longer for enough of the deserving people to be duly blessed with the aid, rebates, subsidies, and entitlements. Stimulus I think it is called now days. Once the masses clearly understand that this fair and equal income is their birth right, they will never allow anyone to threaten the leaders of the collective that so graciously provides it to them. The sad little people of Montana pushing this archaic bill just don’t get the big picture. The truly enlightened one will ensure that they get what they need (deserve) and he will get the message though to them in time. In another decade or so, they will see. The enlightened ones have a plan and they will see to it. What a wonderful grey world it will be.
 

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Bird Dog, that was one of the best uses of the "satire" font I have ever seen. ;)
 

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Why thank you. Sadly though, a lot of our current elected officials think very much in that manner.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We're all headed for the Matrix anyway, the machines will use us for power. :D Everything will be digitally piped right into our brains through Ipods and fiber optics!

I suppose that this legislation is more preventative against a wary state law getting passed than the federal law, since the feds trump anything the state does, except Arizona.
 

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Components may not get banned, but at todays prices they don`t need to be. For poor unemployed slobs like me, $44 for a 25lbs bag of shot is as good as a ban anyway!
 
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