A federal judge in Missoula has dismissed a lawsuit by gun rights advocates and states seeking freedom from federal gun laws, a move that the advocates promised to appeal.
The decision Wednesday from U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy was expected since his magistrate a month ago recommended tossing out the lawsuit because Congress has the authority to regulate firearms with its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce.
Molloy sided with the U.S. Department of Justice, which argued Congress' ability to regulate guns and other items through the "commerce clause" of the U.S. Constitution had long ago been decided in courts.
The lawsuit involving Montana, Utah, Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming and West Virginia argued that states should decide which rules, if any, would control the sale and purchase of guns and paraphernalia made inside their borders.
The 10th Amendment of the Constitution assures that the federal government only has those powers that are specifically given to it by the Constitution, the states said.