Montana AG Austin Knudsen: States Are Stepping In to Protect Gun Rights and the Industry

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From the NSSF . . .

Fortunately for gun manufacturers, distributors, retailers and law-abiding Second Amendment enthusiasts, there’s Republican Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen. AG Knudsen joined NSSF’s Larry Keane on SHOT TV to discuss his efforts to lead the fight on behalf of Montanans against regulations and laws that restrict their rights.

Shipping Company Shenanigans

A recent focal point for AG Knudsen has been discriminatory policies by shipping and financial industry businesses towards the firearm industry. Moves by FedEx, UPS and other shipping companies to enact “woke” boardroom discriminatory policies against lawful businesses is increasingly common, Knudsen said.

He previously told Fox Business, “What this looks to me, and a lot my colleagues, is the [Biden] administration … can’t get more gun control passed through the Senate and through the House. And so what they’re trying to do is pressure their friends in large business to do it for them.”

To get some answers, AG Knudsen spearheaded a letter to Fedex and UPS asking them to clarify their new policies. He told Keane his efforts garnered attention, fast.

“Yeah we definitely put a shot across their bow when we found out they were actively discriminating against firearm businesses, FFL holders,” AG Knudsen said. “We got a pretty quick response. They’re wanting to meet and get together and say ‘Not us – we didn’t do it!’”

AG Knudsen discussed his similar efforts in pushing back against major banks for similar policies, including new efforts by credit card companies to track firearm industry-related purchases through newly-instituted merchant category codes (MCC).

AG Knudsen reminded listeners of his background.

“It’s frustrating, Larry. I come from the legislature. I was the state Speaker of the House for Montana. I understand how to make law,” he explained. “Apparently many of these businesses, the legislators on the Left and the White House don’t understand that because they know full well they cannot get a lot of their agenda through the U.S. Congress – they don’t have the votes.”

Taking The Fight to Court

Keane praised AG Knudsen’s continued effort to go to bat for the firearm industry by submitting amicus briefs in support of industry businesses. One recent example was an amicus brief filed in a case against AG Letitia James challenging New York’s unconstitutional public nuisance law that seeks to assign blame to out-of-state firearm manufacturers and retailers for the criminal misuse of firearms by criminals in New York.

“This is all an attempt to have an end-run around the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” Keane noted, adding that one of the plaintiffs is an NSSF retailer member from Montana.

“I’m a gun guy and this is what I do. A lot of those plaintiffs and a lot of those businesses in Montana…I talk to them and they come to me, so this is a no-brainer to me,” AG Knudsen said. “These are flagrantly unconstitutional. A state does not get to regulate interstate commerce. That’s Constitutional Law 101.”

On the absurdity of assigning blame for crimes to a lawful firearm business rather than to criminals, AG Knudsen was quick and clear.

“It’s so frustrating to me – who is more law-abiding than a federal firearms license holder? Those people are literally the most heavily regulated industry in the country. When you have an administration that keeps piling on more and more and more and then flagrantly overreaching, that’s when you’re going to have states like Montana step in.”

Agency Overreach

Keane and AG Knudsen also thoroughly discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year that struck down the EPA’s Clean Power Plan rule in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, finding that the EPA, as an administrative agency, doesn’t have the legal authority to make their own laws – that’s the role of Congress.

That Supreme Court ruling will have tremendous implications for other agencies’ rulemaking agendas, most specifically to the firearm industry the recent Final Rule published by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on defining what constitutes a frame and receiver, expanding the definition of “machinegun” to include non-mechanical bump stocks and also defining AR-pistols equipped with stabilizing arm braces as short-barreled rifles under the 1968 Gun Control Act and the 1934 National Firearms Act.

“The EPA decision isn’t one we as gun people pay attention to – but we should,” AG Knudsen said. “The Supreme Court told an agency, ‘Hey – you don’t get to make the law, you get to execute the law that Congress passes. That is going to be applied to the ATF. That is why I’ve teed up a lot of these lawsuits.”

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  1. “To get some answers, AG Knudsen spearheaded a letter to Fedex and UPS asking them to clarify their new policies.”

    What does anyone expect when 5 or 6 high-ranking dem senators write letters to the heads of businesses warning them to “review” their policies? Left unchecked, the government can always influence by threatening the very existence of the private sector. In real life we call this “Extortion”.

    I’m pretty confident our newly-elected AG, Brenna Bird, will join in the efforts to battle these woke attempts to govern by proxy.

    • All these shenanigans the dems are involved in with the tech companies, the banks, now the MIC firms, huge big-box stores by using COVID to kill the small players, the big shippers with their government contracts, media/film/games, and somehow it’s still those evil republicans who are in bed with big business.

      You’d think at the very least a thinking person would conclude perhaps all the politicians are filthy grifters using their positions to grow the wealth of themselves and their buddies while simultaneously pandering to the special interest groups who enable their electioneering and launder taxpayer dollars for them.

      But nooooooooo. It’s those evil republicans in bed with big business.

      • You make valid points, but I guess so long as those same Dems we’re describing are always handing out someone else’s money and perks, they’ll continue to enjoy large support.

        I believe the biggest driver of this is property ownership and the antiquated system of funding states via property taxes stolen from those who actually work for a living and own homes and property. Everywhere I travel, huge, multi-family housing complexes are going up. None of those residents will pay direct property taxes and certain percentages of these complexes must be open to govt-subsidized occupants. In the mean time, people like you and I, who own properties will continue to be forced into paying for our own financial and political demise.


  2. If the winters in Montana weren’t so long and cold I wouldn’t mind living there. Same for Wyoming.

    • Not only long, but harsh…lived in WY once. Days I couldn’t get warm. 34 below outside, the house was 55.

      • And there is the ever-present wind. OTOH, most of the state is quite beautiful (both states; but the eastern/southeastern parts of both are kinda ugly).

        But I can wear a coat, I prefer my house on the cool side, and I like freedom, so it seems like a good tradeoff, to me. Unfortunately, our benevolent government owns most of the good land in both states. As it is expressly NOT authorized to do, under the Constitution. Strange, that.

        • @Lamp:
          In the early 70’s I went to St. Lawrence Island to work outside on some electronic stuff. Stayed indoors for a week in a blizzard, rebuilding a camera with tiny screwdrivers that I made out of nails. Hardened them over the stove burner, and finally did it in maybe 5 or 6 days. I got one twist per screwdriver, then made another one. Working outside, you needed to have your gloves off to do the job. You had maybe 5 or 6 minutes MAX to put them back on, or you would never, ever get them back on. Period. Beautiful as heck environment, but snow machines, 4WD only or winterized airplanes were the only transportation. I don’t kayak in sub-freezing water.
          Went to live up on the ice in a Wanagan (packing container with a door, window and oil stove) North of Barrow for a while, doing what we did best, be electronic geeks. You LIVED inside your 4-punds-of-goose-down Oilfield Parka. I got used to it, but could never move to a place this brutally hostile and uncomfortable. This part is all true…

          One day it wuz Minus Forty Degrees…I didn’t say Fahrenheit, I mean
          Minus Forty Centigrade!!
          One of the guys up there went to pee, slipped, and stabbed himself to death. His mileage may vary.
          True Story!!! (Uh, Maybe…)

        • What can I say, guys? Splitting firewood three or four hours EVERY DAY is damn good exercise. It’ll warm you right up!

          What my neighbors taught me was “do everything you can outdoors in late spring, summer, and early fall. Then plan to spend the rest of the year indoors, with a fire going, and STILL wearing a parka.”

          You find things to do indoors. With a fire going. Wearing a parka.

      • Yeah, I couldn’t help but notice all of the 4-wheelers with headlights mounted on vertical extensions. It was summertime but I was intrigued. I asked a native and was advised that the lights were mounted like that so that in winter, when the snow was a— deep to a giraffe, that the lights would be above the accumulated snow in the road. Uhhhh, no thanks. BTW, I was in NW Wyoming and SW Montana (Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and adjacent Montana) and it IS beautiful country.

    • Please. Montana has not had a real Winter in years. If they did, none of the stupid California liberals would be there now. Try the Winter of ’88-’89. Or the Winter of ’78, for that matter. Lots of snow, and bitter, bitter wind chills, to boot. As for long Winters? Try Alaska, where there is nine months of Winter, no Spring (they call that “break-up”), a month of Summer if you are lucky, two months of rain, and plenty of mosquitoes to eat you up-ha ha. Oh, and a short, week long hiccup called “Autumn”. Don’t forget the extended lack of sunlight, too during those long Winters, as well. But, the auroras are out of this world, so I surmise that would make living up there worth it.

  3. “Montana AG Austin Knudsen: States Are Stepping In to Protect Gun Rights”

    Not enough of them. Polis eliminated preemption just making it harder for the good people of Colorado to navigate the state. We are slowly becoming California lite. Duh mass liberals destroy everything they touch.

    • My secondary residence is N MN. Minnesota seems to be in a race with CO to see who can go the furthest left fastest.

  4. I received a package from Palmetto State Armory this morning. Delivered by UPS.I heard the truck pull up so I met the driver. I said, “This is mashed.” Driver, “Yeah. you want to open it to see if it’s damaged?’ Me, ‘No. It’s steel. I doubt you hurt it.” (Two nickel boron BCG) Still, makes you wonder.

    • How odd you should mention that. I also ordered a BCG and got the package yesterday, not from PSA though.

      It was empty and had been opened then re-taped. I know that because the original tape of a solid light brownish color the company uses had been cut open and a layer of that clear packing tape was over the top of it to reseal the box. Empty though, just the packaging the BCG should have been in. Also delivered by UPS. Hmmmm gets curiouser and curiouser.

      • I discovered an order from Optics Planet placed back in August hadn’t been delivered through DSL. Tracking showed it made it to a Texas distribution center. Optics said after 90 days they could not do anything about it but refunded anyway. Obviously most anyone who sees an Optics P box has a hunch about its contents.

      • 40 cal, I just received a package delivered by UPS. One corner of the box was ripped, maybe to peak inside? It wasn’t held together well on top. It looked like it had been opened and resealed. I just checked it, and it has clear tape that’s very poorly done. It’s from Midway USA. Maybe that’s how they pack it there?

        • I could put my hand through the top of the box without cutting the tape. The packaging for the two holsters within the box was intact.

  5. When it comes to gun laws the courts will back the ATF everytime. Hell will freeze over before the courts ever overturn the NFA and later the Great Satan Ronald Reagan machine gun ban, ditto for silencers over the counter too.

    And State gun laws are nullified by Federal Gun Laws every time.

    As Mao Zedong once said “Power comes from the barrel of a gun” and the Feds have all the big guns, Constitution or no Constitution.

    • “When it comes to gun laws the courts will back the ATF everytime.”

      Which is why the Fifth Circuit overturned the bump-stock rule, amirite?

      Oh, and since you can’t understand plain English — the Fifth Circuit is a “court.” And “overturned” means that they didn’t back the BATFE.

      Tell me, dacian — do you have to work extra-hard to be this stupid?

      • It may be low iq and lack of education. That doesn’t help. But dacians biggest shortcomings are his mental illness.

        Who in their right mind uses the phrase ‘The Great Satan’?

        • Wasn’t “The Great Satan” a favorite catchphrase of the various iterations of ISIL/AQ/Daesh/Iraq/Iran and all those other cartoon GWOT Cobra Command folks?

      • No name,

        I used to wonder the same thing, but have now concluded that it is a combination of inherent mental defect, near-total lack of education, absurd amounts of Marxist indoctrination, and native stupidity. A toxic cocktail of STOOPID.

      • I like the way Larry Corriea described stupid, ” people who either mean well but are uninformed about gun laws and how guns actually work (who I don’t mind at all), or the willfully ignorant (who I do mind), or the obnoxiously stupid who are completely incapable of any critical thinking deeper than a Facebook meme (them, I can’t stand).”

        Take your pick as to which one describes dacian.

    • “Nullified by federal laws”

      Yea? That clearly works out so well in literally every state that exists… Blue, Red, or Purple doesn’t seem to give much of a fuck about the feds and that’s how it should be. Don’t like it? Fucken move to DC.

      Also, how many times has history proven that numbers can overcome the most capable weaponry? One way or another. A bunch of armed citizens is still more powerful than any “big gun” the government could ever possess. And that is world wide.

    • “The resulting circuit split should bring this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court’s attention promptly and supply a suitable vehicle for deciding this issue once and for all,” said Mark Chenoweth, the president of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a conservative group that litigated the case.

      As one can see this issue is far from over yet.

      And the Demented Lamp that went out in his head claims he is a lawyer. He is laughable.

    • It is appropriate you would quote Mao. A man responsible for 45 million deaths, he even outdid Hitler and Stalin combined. You share the ideology of Mao and Stalin, a direct contradiction of what the US founded on. That makes you the insurrectionists. And like your heros, you can’t back up claims, you just continue to tell the same lies.

      When do you want to leave for the safety of Ukraine? I believe Russia would be a better fit for you since Putin seems more like your type.

    • dacian the DUNDERHEAD, so sorry bub, but that mouthwash you are using isn’t cutting it. It seems that the Supreme Court is upholding the Constitution. Much I am sure to your chagrin.

  6. Montana versus New York, New Jersey , Pensylvania, California, Hawaii, and Oregon.
    Take your cows and get off my lawn.

    • But . . . but . . . but . . . my food grazes and then s***s on your lawn!!

      I wants muh steak!!

  7. This is how our country was designed to work by the founders. Individual sovereign states who controlled what went on inside their own state borders.

    If you liked what was going on in your state then you stayed. But if you found your state was violating your rights, and making it extremely difficult to live your life, in that state then you left. As millions of people have left Colorado, New York State, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois Etc.

    Or you stayed to fight and change things for the better.

    • Chris T,

      “This is how our country was designed to work by the founders. Individual sovereign states who controlled what went on inside their own state borders.”

      Indeed, that is how it was designed. The Constitution is an instrument of STRICTLY limited grants of power and authority to the federal government, and ALL other rights devolve to the states and the people. And the major power intended for the states was the police power. And both the federal AND state governments were subordinate to the inherent rights of the people.

      Seems like that got a little screwed up, didn’t it?

      The Tree of Liberty is looking mighty parched.

      • to the Demented Lamp that went out in his head

        Quote———- And please explain the much LOWER rate of suicidality among Japanese-Americans than among Japanese – after all, the Japanese-Americans have all that evil ‘access to guns’, amirite???———-quote

        No link, because its pure bullshit. And we are speaking of two different countries as well and 125 million more Japanese in Japan.

        And you moron there are 125 times more Japanese than American/Japanese 126 million v/s 1 1/2 million American/Japanese and many are not even pure ethnic Japanese either but a mixture of many races white and many, many Asian ethnic people. FACT SHEETS: ASIAN AMERICANS
        BangladeshisBhutaneseBurmeseCambodiansHmongIndiansIndonesiansLaotiansMalaysiansMongoliansNepaleseSri LankansThaiChineseFilipinosJapaneseKoreansPakistanisVietnamese

        You are too damn stupid to have thought about that . And way to stupid to be a lawyer like you claim.

        You really made a fool of yourself on this one. Next time research before making a complete fool of yourself.

  8. And, Chris, those millions you speak of have gone elsewhere and eff’d those places up, too. It’s like a plague of locusts.

  9. I fucken died at 2:50

    “There might be a guy coming up for re-election that we need to send home, back to his organic farm”.


    And yea, winters here suck even if you like snow. We have two seasons: Hot, cold. Everyone that experiences a Hot season says the same thing: Beautiful. It is. But there is a lot more to it than the tourist shit you see. Also, fuck that show Yellowstone. Fucken posers. Influencing too many people to ask stupid fucken questions and assume Montana is ANYTHING like the show. No, you cannot drive your fucken Benz to a random field and watch a pack of wolves feasting on an elk carcass. Stay in your city please, and enjoy the fake shit hollyweird shows you in the soap opera they call Yellowstone.

    And lets be honest, most people up here live in a bubble, and they are assholes on the roads lol. Especially during Cold. No problem with being local, rural, or growing up small town – but you need to experience a little bit of the world too. Too many people in these kinds of places are basically the same kinda shit that places like West Virginia and Arkansas get made fun of for. So take it with a grain of salt. Most people around here have never been outside the state.

  10. And, Chris, those millions you speak of have gone elsewhere and eff’d those places up, too. It’s like a plague of locusts.

  11. Many of the companies that I consult for ( through my employer) have ‘woke’ Boards of Directors. But I do not see that wokeness throughout the hierarchy. Instead, I hear veiled cynicism about the hard-left turn this country has made.

    A week ago, I was working on my Mini-14. It was mounted on a bench in the back of my office. I did not realize that it was visible through the camera during my first call of the day. A couple of folk texted me, trying to guess what type of rifle it was. So, I decided to leave it visible for the remainder of the day. There was a lot of interest and only a very few frowns.

    The woke boardroom denizens are out-of-touch. But they do not care.

  12. Cold is waking up in the morning and the and the bottle of Windex on the kitchen table is frozen solid. No your pipes arnt going to thaw out until June. Shitting in a bucket sux but it’s a good idea when it’s to cold to go to the outhouse, and besides, wiping your ass with corncobs then burning the corncobs in the wood stove does heat the place up a bit.(we saved them up in another bucket)..
    On and on about hardships and trix to easy. Frozen feet and fingers and everything hurts more.
    As grandpa remarked, “Its easier to find a shade tree then it is a good heating stove, I’ll take summer over this anytime.” As we chipped ice to make a hole for the cattle to drink from( tip, dont make the hole to big,the heard taking turns keeps it open longer.)
    Oh and lest we forget, China has decided Americans( thank u the the Biden)should be eating their pets not feeding them, so get used to that.
    Take Me Back To Paradise City
    When life was hard
    And we thought it a pity
    Wont you take me back

  13. dacian the DUNDERHEAD, so sorry bub, but that mouthwash you are using isn’t cutting it. It seems that the Supreme Court is upholding the Constitution. Much I am sure to your chagrin.

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