Please try to get to Helena to support this Bill. If you can’t get to Helena on Friday, send a message to the House Judiciary Committee Members in support of HB 274 via the Legislative online message system: http://www.leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/64th/legwebmessage.asp
HB 274 would require that federal officers operating in Montana to get the advanced written permission of the elected county sheriff before effecting an arrest, search, or seizure. There are exceptions built into the bill for federal activities along the US border, for federal enclaves such as military reservations, for “hot pursuit” across the state line, if a federal officer witnesses a crime that requires immediate action, or if the sheriff is the target of the federal action.
The purpose of Sheriffs First is to put the local sheriff in the driver’s seat for federal actions such as what happened with the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, and with the Weaver family in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The elected county sheriff has local knowledge about local people and circumstances. He is the chief law enforcement officer in the county, accountable locally, and can best determine how law enforcement operations should be conducted in his county.
You can find bill text, MSSA notes and current status of this, and all other MSSA bills here: http://www.mtssa.org/?page_id=188
If you can get to Helena to support HB 274 in its public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, that would be great. Please see or review my coaching about how to best appear and present at a legislative public hearing at:
If you can’t come to Helena to appear before the Committee, please send messages to Committee members. Again, you can send one message to all committee members at one time via the Online legislative message form at:
Again, be BRIEF. Legislators are so very swamped with material to read (they speak of it as “drinking from a fire hose”) that they simply don’t have time to and won’t read a long message. One short paragraph would be good. Just saying “Please support HB 274″ would be sufficient.
Thanks for supporting HB 274 and for supporting other MSSA bills. Your support IS IMPORTANT!!!
I am posting this email and other emails about MSSA bills working in Helena at mtssa.org for your reference. Also, friend Elisa is doing a great job of maintaining a page with information about all MSSA bills at: