December 14, 2019

Feds Immune In Deadly Mountain Goat Attack

 SEATTLE (CN) – The National Park Service is not responsible for a mountain-goat attack that killed a hiker in Olympic National Park, the Ninth Circuit ruled.
A divided three-judge panel on Monday found the Park Service had no duty to destroy the animal despite numerous complaints about its aggressive behavior.
Robert Boardman was hiking with his wife, Susan Chadd, and a friend in Washington state’s Olympic National Park when they encountered the goat in October 2010. They were on a popular trail near Klahhane Ridge when they encountered the goat, known as “Klahhane Billy.”

Source: Courthouse News Service

*Editor’s Note* – In a related email, Dr. Valerius Geist was quoted as saying, “I was involved as an expert witness for the plaintiff in the first court case, and discovered – again – that the park had no biologist experienced in animal behavior. Nobody in charge recognized what the billy was signalling, long before it attacked. The billy had begun a very long time before the attack signalling its dominance over humans, initially in a weakly expressed dominance display. That’s what a big billy will do testing a rival. It means that – eventually – it will attack. That’s a guarantee. Nobody in the park understood that, and probably still don’t! A mountain goat displaying to humans has to be removed. That was not done, and the tragedy continued to its predictable end.”

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Marbut Says Not to Get Too Excited Over Ninth Court Gun Ruling

Dear MSSA Friends,

If you haven’t been living in a cave somewhere, you’ve probably heard that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California’s arbitrary system that effectively prohibits BOTH open and concealed carry for many Californians. The Ninth said that such a system is an intolerable interference with a fundamental right to “bear” arms. See:
Peruta v. County of San Diego (9th Cir. Feb. 13, 2014)

Don’t get too excited. It’s not a done deal yet.

This was only decided by a three-judge panel – the way the Ninth Circuit does most business on first pass. The panel, by random draw (and good luck), included two (thought to be) conservative judges and one liberal. Given the preponderance of liberal judges on the Ninth Circuit, this panel makeup was an unusual occurrence.

The defendant (San Diego County) will probably move for and likely get an “en banc” review (theoretically a review by the entire Ninth Circuit of 29 judges; in reality review by 11 randomly-selected judges).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_banc

If so, the Ninth circuit’s Chief Judge, Alex Kozinski (a conservative) will chair the en banc panel, and the other 10 judges on the en banc panel will be randomly-selected from a pool of judges who lean way liberal. Odds are it will be a liberal-dominated panel, which will then likely reverse and decide differently than the original three-judge panel, but who knows.

Then, it will be on to the Supreme Court, for the SC to resolve possible differences on this issue among the various federal circuit courts of appeals. As with our appeal of MSSA v. Holder over the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, there’s about a 1:20 chance the SC will accept that appeal of the San Diego case from the Ninth Circuit. If the SC does not accept the appeal, the decision of the en banc panel will stand.

There are certainly important issues at play in Peruta v. San Diego. In its famous Heller and McDonald decisions the SC looked primarily at the issue of “keep” arms, but was not so specific about “bear” arms. Many have asked how the mandate of the Second Amendment can be fulfilled if people can keep arms in their home for self defense and other reasons, and that this is a fundamental right, but they are not allowed to bear arms outside their homes. Good question; the very question that has been raised in Peruta.

Of course, it will be VERY interesting to watch what may happen with Peruta, but it is not a dependable victory yet; hopeful but not final.

Keep your powder dry.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

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Ninth Circuit Rules in Firearms Freedom Act Case

NEWS RELEASE
(August 23, 2013 – for immediate release)

Ninth Circuit Rules in Firearms Freedom Act Case

MISSOULA, MONT. – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released its opinion today in MSSA v. Holder, the lawsuit brought in federal court to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA). The MFFA was enacted by the Montana Legislature and signed into law by then Governor Brian Schweitzer in 2009. The MFFA declares that any firearms made and retained in Montana are not subject to any federal regulation under the power given to Congress in the U.S. Constitution to “regulate commerce … among the states.” The MFFA uses firearms as a vehicle to challenge federal commerce clause power.

Plaintiffs in MSSA v. Holder are the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA), the Second Amendment Foundation, and Gary Marbut, President of MSSA. To set up the legal challenge, Marbut determined to manufacture a youth-model, .22 caliber, bolt-action rifle called the “Montana Buckaroo.” The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms informed Marbut that any such unlicensed manufacture would be illegal under federal law.

Despite Marbut’s BATF-prohibited plans to make the Montana Buckaroo, the federal District Court ruled that the plaintiffs lacked “standing” to bring the lawsuit, and dismissed the lawsuit. MSSA appealed this dismissal to the Ninth Circuit.

In its long-awaited ruling today, the Ninth Circuit reversed the federal District Court on the standing issue, saying that Marbut has standing to bring the challenge, but held that existing Supreme Court precedent was against plaintiffs on the merits of the lawsuit.

Marbut commented, “This was about as good of a ruling as we could have expected from the Ninth Circuit. We must get to the U.S. Supreme Court to accomplish our goal of overturning 70 years of flawed Supreme Court rulings on the interstate commerce clause. We knew that the Ninth Circuit couldn’t help us with that. Only the Supreme Court can overturn Supreme Court precedent. However, now that the standing question is resolved in our favor, we have the green light to appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Marbut says the attorneys involved are already beginning to work on the appeal process.

Marbut continued, “The time is ripe in America for states to challenge federal power, from Obamacare to indefinite detention, to illegal spying on U.S. Citizens and media, to IRS abuses of power, and more. It was the states which created this federal government that has grown to become such a monster. It’s time for the states to get their creature back on a leash. With MSSA v. Holder, we will offer the Supreme Court a chance to do just that.”

Since the MFFA was initially enacted in Montana in 2009, nine other states have enacted clones of the MFFA, and 20-some additional states have introduced MFFA-clone bills. The lawsuit to validate the MFFA principles, MSSA v. Holder, has attracted many intervenors and amicus curiae parties. These include the State of Montana, the attorneys general of eight other states, Montana legislators, legislators from other states, the Goldwater Institute, Gun Owners Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, the CATO Institute, the Weapons Collectors Society of Montana, the Pacific Legal Foundation, and others.

More information about the Firearms Freedom Act movement and lawsuit is available at:
http://www.FirearmsFreedomAct.com

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Oral Argument To Be Heard in MSSA v. Holder March 4, 2013

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA v. Holder, our lawsuit to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, will have oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon, this coming Monday, March 4th.

With many thanks to generous MSSA donors, my costs for travel lodgings and other are covered by MSSA and I will be there. I’ll get you a report when I get back.

Audio and/or video of the oral argument should appear on the Ninth Circuit’s Website by Noon on Tuesday, at:
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/index_video.php

Most of you will remember that the MFFA uses firearms as the vehicle to challenge federal power to regulate or prohibit basically everything under the enumerated power given to Congress by the states in the Constitution to “regulate commerce … among the several states …”, the Commerce Clause. MSSA advances some fresh and powerful arguments that have never been made in Commerce Clause litigation before (such as the Ninth and Tenth Amendments actually amended the Commerce Clause and its possible implementation).

I wrote and submitted an article today to The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. telling more of the story about MSSA’s Commerce Clause challenge. If that article is published before I leave, I’ll shoot you the link. (Here’s the link to that article.)

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

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