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LA Times

Montana state Rep. Joel Boniek, shown with his mule Jesse, introduced a bill seeking to exempt from federal regulation any firearm made and used within the state borders.       An expanded federal role prompts declarations of state sovereignty. Montana goes further with a gun bill defying U.S. firearm restrictions. The goal: Keep Washington on its side of the fence. By Mark Z. Barabak

June 16, 2009 Reporting from Bozeman, Mont. -- Frustrated by the expanded power of Washington, a growing number of state lawmakers are defying the federal government and passing legislation aimed at rolling back the reach of Congress and President Obama.

While many measures are symbolic ones declaring the sovereignty of states, some Westerners are taking more dramatic steps. One Utah lawmaker wants to limit federal law enforcement in his state. In Montana, legislators enacted a bill that flagrantly ignores federal firearm restrictions, hoping to f


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