Attorney General Tim Fox announced on Tuesday, December 10, that Montana has joined 26 other states and territories in a friend of the court brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of individual gun owners.

Spokesman John Barnes explained how Montana joined the case.

"The purpose in joining the Abramski case is to protect Montanans' second amendment rights , as well as Montana's sovereignty," Barnes said. "Basically, in their case, the federal government prosecuted and convicted a retired police officer who had lawfully purchased a firearm. They prosecuted him for subsequently selling that firearm to his elderly uncle, who was also lawfully eligible to possess that firearm. The federal government wants to circumvent both federal and state law to prohibit Americans from selling firearms to other Americans who can lawfully possess them."

In January, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Abramski's conviction, and in October, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the conviction.

Barnes said oral arguments are scheduled for January 22, 2014, with a decision to come at the close of the court's session in June.

Attorney General Spokesman John Barnes