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Global Skywatch

MSSA update

We are part-way throught our move to Montana when I discover the governor is an idiot – or evil. I will be better equiped to decide which he is after watching a while longer. Meanwhile, the source of my data from the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA):

Dear MSSA Friends,

Yesterday (Friday) Governor Bullock vetoed HB 304, MSSA’s permitless carry (or repeal coat control) bill. No veto message available yet.

HB 240 (university authority – campus carry) will have a vote in the House on Monday about whether of not to concur with (bad) Senate amendments. We want the House to NOT concur with Senate amendments so HB will go to a conference committee to fix the bad Senate amendments.

HB 446 (fixing disorderly conduct – eliminating “discharging firearms” as a crime) has passed House and Senate and has been transmitted to the Governor. You should contact the Governor (444-3111 or [email protected]) and ask him to support HB 446. HB 446 got a barely veto-proof majority in House and Senate, although Governor Bullock could veto it anyway just to force a veto override vote (he might win that if the Dems go into lock to protect the Governor). When you contact the Governor, you might mention that any law that is violated tens of thousands of times each year with no enforcement only breeds disrespect for the law. Plus, any law that depends entirely on selective enforcement for its administration is very bad public policy.

HB 459 (medical privacy for gun owners) has passed House and Senate and has been transmitted to the Governor. You should contact the Governor (444-3111 or [email protected]) and ask him to support HB 459. HB 459 got a little stronger veto-proof majority in House and Senate. When you contact the Governor, you might say that you don’t want information about your gun ownership recorded in electronic medical files that are widely shared (New York just used widespread invasion of electronic medical files to identify gun owners and force them to disarm or suffer criminal penalties under NY’s new gun control laws).

House Resolution 5 (encouraging firearms manufacturers in states with oppressive gun laws to “Come to Montana”) has passed the House. It is a done deal.

Senate Resolution 34 (encouraging firearms manufacturers in states with oppressive gun laws to “Come to Montana”) has passed the Senate. It is a done deal.

SB 133 has been our stealth prohibited places bill. Originally, it was a bill intended to allow investigators for the public defender system to carry firearms. However, it was so poorly drafted that it actually made no effective change in Montana law at all. I informed the sponsor (Senator Rosendale) of this problem, but he chose to run with the bill as-was anyway. So, when it came to the House, it was amended to allow anyone with a CWP to use the CWP in one of the “prohibited places” in 45-8-328 (bars, banks and public buildings). The Senate did not concur with House amendments, so SB 133 has been assigned to a conference committee (three members from the Senate and three members from the House) to try to develop a bill that both the House and Senate can accept. Appointed from the Senate were Sen. Ripley, Chair; Sen. Rosendale and Sen Driscoll. Appointed from the House were Rep. Wagoner, Rep. J. Bennett, and Rep. MacDonald. Driscoll from the Senate and MacDonald from the House are both Democrats and both virulently anti-gun. However, they likely won’t matter. The fate of SB 133 will be in the hands of the four Republicans, Ripley and Rosendale from the Senate, and Wagoner and Bennett from the House. If you want SB 133 to come out of the conference committee in good form and you wish to contact these legislators, your message should be to leave SB 133 in its House-passed form.

HB 205, MSSA’s suppressor bill, is still languishing in the Senate, awaiting delayed Second Reading action. Senator Chas Vincent is carrying HB 205 in the Senate, and is trying to get senators and people from the Governor’s office to attend local shooting range exercises demonstrating just what suppressors do, and don’t do. The Legislature only has two weeks left, and I don’t know when HB 205 will move in the Senate. FWP has put out the word to ranchers that if HB 205 is passed, all of the ranchers’ livestock will be killed silently by criminal hunters with suppressed firearms and they won’t learn about that until they discover all the bodies in the pasture (FWP’s active disinformation campaign), so legislators from the ag community are leery about HB 205.

That’s all for now. Get messages in on the active bills.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana