A growing number of states are aiming to keep Uncle Sam’s hands off their weapons if Congress decides to stiffen gun-control laws in response to last month’s deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Eight states — Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming — have adopted laws in recent years that would exempt guns made in the state from federal regulation as long as they remain in the state, according to Jon Griffin of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Twenty-one other states have introduced similar legislation, said Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. Marbut was the force behind the Montana Firearms Freedom Act of 2009, upon which many other states have patterned their bills. Implementation of Montana’s and other laws are on hold pending a 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision, Marbut and his attorney, Quentin Rhoades said.

Although the state laws are on the books, Marbut, who runs a website called and monitors action in other states said, “I have strongly suggested that people not act according to the Montana law until the legal case is cleared.” Other states also are holding back during the court fight, he said.

Read more at USA Today

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