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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:44 PM

Montana Bill Would Let Sheriffs Arrest FBI Agents for Arresting People

—By Tim Murphy | Thu Feb. 21, 2013 3:01 AM PST

If Montana voters approve Gary Marbut's referendum in November 2014, any FBI agent who tries to arrest a Montanan for a federal crime could be arrested—and charged with kidnapping.

Marbut's "Sheriffs First" bill, which cleared a Montana state Senate committee last week, makes it a crime for a federal agent to take any law-enforcement steps without first getting permission from the county sheriff. The proposal already passed both houses of the Legislature once, in 2011, but was vetoed by then-Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat. This time Marbut, the Montana gun lobbyist and aspiring firearms manufacturer who wrote the bill, is hoping Montana voters will determine the fate of his legislation. If passed, the latest version of the Sheriffs First measure would become a ballot question in November 2014.

The FBI's deadly 1993 raid on cult leader David Koresh's Waco, Texas, compound might never have happened if the Sheriffs First law was in place, Marbut argues. The sheriff "could have said, 'Look, I will call Koresh on the phone and he'll meet at my office and you can ask him whatever questions you want. You don't have to incinerate 100-and-some people.'" But under the Sheriffs First law, Marbut's imagined conversation wouldn't be the simple information exchange he describes. Instead, it would be a request for permission: The FBI would have had to ask the local sheriff before initiating a raid on Koresh's compound—and the local sheriff could have said no.

That's because the real focus of the Sheriffs First law's isn't interdepartmental communication; it's de facto nullification. If a sheriff believes a federal law is in conflict with a state law, he could prevent federal agents from enforcing it. In designating local sheriffs as essentially a new form of checks and balances, Marbut's bill would empower the very law enforcement officers who have been most critical of perceived federal overreach. As Reason reported last month, at least 90 sheriffs departments have pledged to not enforce any gun control laws they consider to be unconstitutional.

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http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/montana-sheriffs-gary-marbut-fbi-gun-legislation

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:47 PM

1. I tend to like this law. I don't trust the Feds. Especially in Drug situations. n-t

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Response to Logical (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:52 PM

4. I was going to ask a question on a similar point

Suppose a state passed a law to arrest DEA agents arresting owners of a licensed MMJ dispensary?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:23 PM

7. The sheriff will be arrested on federal obstruction of justice charges

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:41 PM

8. I've no doubt you're 100% correct

But then the sheriff would retaliate by arresting anyone coming to arrest him and so it would go back and forth. That makes me think that it then becomes a contest of wills, public relations and a hot mess of a legal situation. It kinda comes down to, "Do ya really wanna go there for this?"

However, be that as it may, I was more interested in the level of support from members of DU to where we would draw the line if it were an issue we were more sympathetic towards.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:43 PM

9. Uh, no, it won't go down that way

If an armed person resists arrest by the FBI, that's the end of the story right there. Sherrifs are regularly arrested and tried on federal charges.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:48 PM

2. If Montana or any other state doesn't want to deal with the FBI, they can always secede.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:49 PM

3. Sheer genius.

"Well, lemme tell ya. Bobby Wayne is just a good ol' boy and we ain't had all that much trouble with him. He comes from a good famlee, too. Let me make a few phone calls an' I'll git back to ya."

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:54 PM

5. "You don't have to incinerate 100-and-some people."

The sheriff "could have said, 'Look, I will call Koresh on the phone and he'll meet at my office and you can ask him whatever questions you want. You don't have to incinerate 100-and-some people.'"

You know you're dealing with a lunatic when they start spouting this tired fiction. The rest is just a side order of even more lunacy.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:07 PM

6. It is a good idea,the FBI is not to be trusted

 

That said, since the FBI has no sense of humor, all this law, if enacted, would accomplish is getting county Sheriffs arrested or shot. Besides the FBI isn't too big on asking the local yokels permission to make arrests. They do their thing and the locals can put on their big boy boxers and deal with it

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Response to Tagish_Charlie (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:52 PM

11. Plenty of local cops aren't either. I'm thinking Arpaio in Arizona for starters.

Imagine what Capone could have done with a law like this. Buy up the local guys and let them take care of Eliott Ness

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:47 PM

10. I want to be a fly on the wall if an incident like that actually happens.

A bullet proof fly.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:24 PM

12. The feds busted several medical marijuana

businesses in Montana and the SHERIFF was more than happy to assist. So were the city police.

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