For Immediate Release


Peter Hamm,
Communications Director
Doug Pennington,
Assistant Director: 202-898-0792.

Montana "Firearms Freedom Act" Would Arm Criminals, Threaten National Security

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.  ”

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.



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