Montana: Wrong Heller Decision Would Violate Its Compact with the United States


An interesting wrinkle in the gun-rights controversy: Various Montana politicians have signed a resolution arguing that anything other than an individual-right interpretation of the Second Amendment (at issue in the forthcoming Supreme Court case Heller v. D.C.) would violate the compact between Montana and the U.S.

Excerpts from the resolution:

WHEREAS, when the Court determines in Heller whether or not the Second Amendment secures an individual right, the Court will establish precedent that will affect the State of Montana and the political rights of the citizens of Montana;

WHEREAS, when Montana entered into statehood in 1889, that entrance was accomplished by a contract between Montana and the several states, a contract known as The Compact With The United States (Compact), found today as Article I of the Montana Constitution;

WHEREAS, with authority from Congress acting as agent for the several states, President Benjamin Harrison approved the Montana Constitution in 1889, which secured the right of "any person" to bear arms, clearly intended as an individual right and an individual right deemed consistent then with the Second Amendment by the parties to the contract;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the undersigned members of the 60th Montana Legislature as follows:

1. That any form of "collective rights" holding by the Court in Heller will offend the Compact; and………4. Montana reserves all usual rights and remedies under historic contract law if its Compact should be violated by any "collective rights" holding in Heller.

A longer explanation of their "contract argument."