Bump fire stocks – why you should care

Dear MSSA Friends,

One or more bills have been introduced in Congress to outlaw “bump fire” stocks, like the one(s) allegedly used in the Las Vegas massacre.

Why should you care?

First, I’ll agree with many of you that bump fire stocks are stupid.  They are usually inaccurate and just waste ammo.  As my friend Stephen says, they’re a good way to turn money into noise.  They have little practical utility.

But, that’s not the issue here.  The issue here is yet another assault on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  The people control crowd see banning these devices as low-hanging political fruit in the emotionally charged aftermath of Las Vegas.  They have zero intent to limit their ratcheting away of the RKBA with just banning bump fire stocks.  That’s just what they think they can get away with right now.

Another such incident and they’ll be after the device de jour.  What will be next?  Standard-capacity magazines, semi-auto rifles, red-dot sights, “cop-killer bullets” (all rifle ammo), banning private firearm sales without government registration/permission?  The possible list is extensive.  The people controllers already have their wish lists of future restrictions made.  The bills to accomplish these are already written, just waiting for an inflammatory incident to launch them.

In the broader context, a ban on bump fire stocks is just another attack on individual liberty.  Why does anyone “need” a car that will go faster than 65 MPH.  Why does anyone “need” to be able to send uncensored emails or make uncensored Online posts?  Why does anyone really “need” the privacy of their persons, papers, or homes, if they’re not criminals?  Why does anyone “need” to own his or her own property or live outside an urban apartment?  This list is endless too, and all or these are on the chopping block designed by those who want us all subservient to a tyrannous government.

So, where do we draw the line?

Here and now.  Hard and fast.  With bump fire stocks (even if you and I may think they’re dumb.)  This is the time to rise up and just say NO.  By that I mean ABSOLUTELY NO!

It doesn’t matter if some pro-gun group cuts a deal to throw bump-fire stocks under the bus, in exchange for leniency by our would-be masters, or in exchange for some other favor.  The message to Congress is still ABSOLUTELY NO!

Contact all three of Montana’s congressional delegation today, Senator Tester, Senator Daines, and Congressman Gianforte.  Tell them NO inroads on the RKBA, zero, none.  Tell them we are all watching closely.

Sincerely,
--   Gary Marbut, president  Montana Shooting Sports Association  http://www.mtssa.org  Author, Gun Laws of Montana  http://www.MtPublish.com

Gun Group Endorses Gianforte

NEWS RELEASE

Gun Group Endorses Gianforte for Congress
“Enthusiastically recommended”
May 11, 2017 – for immediate release

MISSOULA – The Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) announced its
endorsement today of Republican Greg Gianforte in his bid for Montana’s
lone seat in the U.S. House. MSSA is the primary political advocate for
gun owners in Montana.

MSSA President Gary Marbut commented, “Greg is clearly a gun guy and
will be an important champion for our rights and issues before
Congress. His chief opponent, Quist, is as they say in cattle country
‘all hat and no cows.’ Quist is a puppet to his anti-gun party and
wants to register everyone’s guns. MSSA acknowledges the good
philosophy of Libertarian candidate Wicks, but is frustrated that
Libertarian candidates never win and only operate as spoilers,
unfortunately sometimes sucking off just enough votes to insure the
anti-gun candidate wins. MSSA enthusiastically recommends Gianforte to
Montana gun owners.”

MSSA has published a critique of Quist’s would-be gun ad at:
progunleaders.org/Quist/

Marbut noted that although Quist seeks to come across as a good old
country boy, the media reports that he has not purchased a Montana
hunting license in the last 15 years. Further, a search of records
maintained by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
indicates that Quist has never graduated from a Hunter Education class
in Montana, a typical youth rite of passage for Montana gun owners.

“Quist’s amateur attempt to come across as a typical Montana gun owner
is a joke,” Marbut said. “In his wannabe gun ad he violates every basic
principle of safe gun handling, safety rules real Montana gun owners
learn when they’re 12 years old or younger. It’s easy for any
experienced gun owner to see through this flubbed sales attempt.”

A special election for Montana’s only seat in the U.S. House will occur
on May 25th. County election offices have already mailed absentee
ballots. The winner of this Special Election will fill the seat vacated
by Ryan Zinke who has become the Secretary of Interior in the Trump
administration.

– 30 –

Contact: Gary Marbut; mssa@mtssa.org, 549-1252

One more shot at Restaurant Carry

Dear MSSA Friends,

The Senate and House have rejected the Governor’s gutting amendments to MSSA’s Restaurant Carry bill, HB 494.  It now goes back to Governor Bullock for his reconsideration in the form in which it originally landed on his desk.

HB 494 would allow a person with a CWP to exercise that CWP in an establishment that may have a liquor license but for which the main business is food.  It leaves in place an existing law making it illegal to carry concealed when intoxicated.

Please contact Governor Bullock (“Steve Bullock” <governor@mt.gov&gt; or 444-3111) immediately and ask him to sign HB 494 (or allow it to become law without his signature).  Ask all of your friends and fellow gun club members to contact him too.

Remember, be polite and brief.

Best wishes,
--   Gary Marbut, president  Montana Shooting Sports Association  http://www.mtssa.org  Author, Gun Laws of Montana  http://www.mtpublish.com

SJ 11 passes final House vote – done deal

Dear MSSA Friends,

As expected, MSSA’s Senate Joint Resolution 11 (SJ 11) passed the House Third Reading today by a vote of 58-42, the same as the Second Reading Vote yesterday.  It’s now a done deal.

This was basically a party-line vote.  All those who voted against SJ 11 on both Second and Third Reading in the House are Democrats, EXCEPT for Rep. Jeff Essman, Republican from Billings and also the Chairman of the Montana Republican Party.  Said differently, ALL House Republicans supported SJ 11, except for Rep. Essman (even those Representatives sometimes accused of being RINOs), and ALL Democrats opposed it.

This only confirms what I said recently about Montana Democrats driving their party into irrelevance in Montana with their lock-step, obedient, anti-gun performance.  It also makes a person wonder what on Earth is going on with Rep. Essman, the ostensible leader of the Montana Republican Party.  Is he attempting to demonstrate his leadership of Republicans?

I wish to thank several critical people for the success of SJ 11.  Sen. Mark Blasdel (R-Kalispell) was kind and sympathetic enough to provide the original bill draft request for SJ 11.  Thanks Mark.  Attorney and legislative drafter Julianne Burkhardt was patient and helpful as I massaged SJ 11 into final shape.  Thanks Julianne.  Sen. Keith Regier (R-Kalispell, Chairman of Senate Judiciary) rose to the call and did a great job when I asked him to be the primary Sponsor of SJ 11.  Thanks Keith!  Rep. Matt Regier (R-Kalispell, son of Keith) did a fine job of carrying SJ 11 in the House.  Thanks Matt.

Thanks also to the members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees for supporting SJ 11, and to those legislators who supported SJ 11 with voice and votes in committee and on the floor of the Senate and House.

Finally, thanks to those of you in the MSSA orbit who messaged legislators with requests to support SJ 11.

The NRA did not support SJ 11 (they did not oppose either).  I think this was because of the Not Invented Here (by the NRA) syndrome, but mostly because getting very far ahead of the gun rights curve is just not in the NRA’s comfort zone, a sometimes surprisingly narrow zone.  It should be noted that the NRA did support our Restaurant Carry and Range Funding bills (both within the NRA comfort zone).

We’ll need to wait and see what role SJ 11 may play in the future of the Right to Keep or Bear Arms in Montana, and in the US.  I only hope that it won’t first be argued in some dog of a legal case where a court has political or contextual reason to dismiss SJ 11 and its principles, and this important opinion of the Montana Legislature, as irrelevant.

Best wishes,
--   Gary Marbut, president  Montana Shooting Sports Association  http://www.mtssa.org  Author, Gun Laws of Montana  http://www.mtpublish.com

SJ 11 passes House Second Reading

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA’s Senate Joint Resolution 11 (SJ 11) passed the House Second Reading today (4/21) by a vote of 58-42.  It is scheduled to advance to Third Reading tomorrow, when I expect this vote to hold.

Assuming it will pass Third Reading tomorrow, SJ 11 will then be a done deal.  It has already passed the Senate, and, because it’s a joint resolution, it does NOT go to Governor Bullock (which is exactly why I crafted it as a resolution).

You may remember that SJ 11 defines a phrase in the Montana Constitution that has never before had an authoritative definition.  That is the phrase by which our Right to Keep or Bear Arms is secured when the Constitution says that this cherished right shall not be “called in question.”

What does “called in question” mean?  Nobody knows for sure, at least not in a strict legal sense.  That’s why SJ 11.  SJ 11 gets out in front of future legal decisions about this with a very strong definition and a high bar, and coming from the Montana Legislature for authority.

Twenty, 50, or 100 years from now, SJ 11 has the potential to be seen by a historical look back as the most significant and effective item ever gotten through the Legislature by MSSA.  Heck, it could even catch a political wave nationally as our original Montana Firearms Freedom Act did.  It also has the possibility of having no effect at all.  We’ll see.

At least, it will add one more to the 67 pro-gun measures that MSSA has gotten through the Legislature and into Montana law, not counting the many measures that MSSA has gotten through the Legislature only to have them vetoed by an anti-gun governor.

If you wish to read SJ 11, go to:

I’ve also written a fulsome explanation of the features of SJ 11, which explanation I introduced into the public record as testimony at the public hearings in Senate and House.  I did this so that this explanation will be present if the courts seek to dig into the “legislative history” and “legislative intent” of the measure in any future litigation.  You may read this explanation, if you wish, at:

So the good news is that we got at least one significant pro-gun measure through this session (assuming it passes House Third Reading tomorrow, as expected) notwithstanding veto-happy, anti-gun Governor Bullock.

Best wishes,
--   Gary Marbut, president  Montana Shooting Sports Association  http://www.mtssa.org  Author, Gun Laws of Montana  http://www.mtpublish.com

Restaurant Carry – amendatory veto

Dear MSSA Friends,

Governor Bullock has gutted our Restaurant Carry bill, HB 494, with an “amendatory veto.”

In his veto message, Governor Bullock asserts he is a “strong advocate for the second amendment rights of the citizens of Montana.”  Right.

Rather than an outright veto, I imagine Governor Bullock used the amendatory veto so he can claim that the majority of the Senate and House passed a bad bill, and with his brilliant amendment he was able to correct it.  That, in turn, will support his claim that his peculiar brand of  “common sense” is superior to the rights we citizens have reserved to ourselves from government interference.

We see by this that the Democrats of Montana have not learned that when you find yourself trapped in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.  Montana Democrats have not figured out that they continue to drive themselves into irrelevance with their weasel-worded and disingenuous opposition to principles that are important to Montana.

The number of Democrats in the Montana Legislature continues to shrink as they continue to cling to their fringy, anti-gun ideas.  They lost every major office in Montana last November except for narrowly hanging onto the Governor’s office with a smear campaign funded by copious money from out-of-state.  Thanks in part to Bullock, his weasley excuses, and his anti-gun attitude, when he leaves office in three years Democrats will be at the lowest ebb ever in Montana history.

So, for the long run, we should thank Governor Bullock.  Thanks for so reliably carrying the consistently anti-gun Democrat flag.  Thanks for your key part in ushering the Democrats into total irrelevance in Montana.

Best wishes,
--   Gary Marbut, president  Montana Shooting Sports Association  http://www.mtssa.org  Author, Gun Laws of Montana  http://www.mtpublish.com

Restaurant Carry, Contact Governor

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA’s Restaurant Carry bill, HB 494, has been passed by the Legislature and sent to Governor Bullock.

HB 494 would allow a person with a CWP to exercise that CWP in an establishment that may have a liquor license but for which the main business is food.  It leaves in place an existing law making it illegal to carry concealed when intoxicated.

Please contact Governor Bullock (“Steve Bullock” <governor@mt.gov&gt; or 444-3111) immediately and ask him to sign HB 494 (or allow it to become law without his signature).  Ask all of your friends and fellow gun club members to contact him too.

Remember, be polite and brief.

Best wishes,
--   Gary Marbut, president  Montana Shooting Sports Association  http://www.mtssa.org  Author, Gun Laws of Montana  http://www.mtpublish.com

An open letter to U.S. Senator Jon Tester about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

Dear Senator Tester,

In 2006 the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Judge Neil
Gorsuch to a seat on the federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, without
dissent or criticism.

Please inform Montana what Judge Gorsuch has done since 2006 to cause
you to be unwilling to announce support for his confirmation now. What
decisions has he written since 2006 that are unacceptable to you? What
breaches of professional ethics has he committed since 2006 that cause
you to withhold support?

Please tell Montana what has changed about Judge Gorsuch since 2006. If
you cannot articulate and document any significant problems, then Judge
Gorsuch deserves the same support from you now that the Senate gave him
in 2006, support you should announce to Montana rather than playing
political games. Reassure Montana that you work for us, and not for
Chuck Schumer of New York.

Sincerely,

Time to Contact Legislators – SB99 & HB494

Dear MSSA Friends,

It’s time to get messages to legislators in support of SB 99 and HB 494.

SB 99 has a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 22.  SB 99 is MSSA’s bill to prevent state and local employees from enforcing any new (after 1/1/17) federal laws or regulations restricting firearms, magazines, or ammunition (such as the Obama lead ban for hunting on public lands done the last day before Obama left office).

SB 99 is entirely consistent with Printz v. US in which the Supreme Court considered the initial Brady Law (in 1994) requirement that sheriffs must conduct the background checks on gun buyers.  Sheriff Jay Printz of Ravalli County, Montana, filed suit in federal court arguing that the feds did not elect or pay him, and that they couldn’t force him to implement federal law.  The Supreme Court agreed with Sheriff Printz and held that Congress could not commandeer the resources of state and local governments.

SB 99 is also consistent with and a mere extension of Montana law at 45-8-351 which prohibits local governments from enforcing gun laws not approved by the Legislature.

Police entities have testified against this bill in past sessions saying that police officers have taken an oath to uphold all laws, state and federal, and cannot be asked to breach their oath.  This is false.  Police take no such oath.  They DO take an oath to uphold the U.S. and Montana Constitutions, which of course includes the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments.

Please send messages to House Judiciary Committee members asking them to support SB 99.

HB 494 has a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee also on Wednesday, March 22nd.  HB 494 is MSSA’s Restaurant Carry bill that would allow people with CWPs to use a CWP in a restaurant which also has a license to serve alcohol, but where the primary business is food.  HB 494 will leave in place an existing law making it a crime to be intoxicated and in possession of a firearm.  The existing prohibition on Restaurant Carry is just nonsensical.  There is zero history of people with CWPs in Montana abusing that prerogative or getting in trouble.

Please send a message to Senate Judiciary Committee members asking them to support HB 494.

I hope to see some of you in Helena for the public hearings on these bills.  House Judiciary meets at 8AM and Senate Judiciary meets at 9AM.  I’ve asked the Chairman of House Judiciary to schedule SB 99 first item on the HJC agenda, and I’ve asked the Chairman of Senate Judiciary to schedule HB 494 as the last item on the SJC agenda.  If they do that, it should allow people attending to be present for BOTH public hearings (in different rooms of the Capitol).  NOTE:  Expect a boatload of Demanding Moms to show up to oppose both bills.

If you have any question about the legislative process, see:

If you have any question about testifying before a legislative committee, see:

Thanks!

Best wishes,
--   Gary Marbut, president  Montana Shooting Sports Association  http://www.mtssa.org  Author, Gun Laws of Montana  http://www.mtpublish.com