Immediately below are a number of methods to Contact Governor Bullock to urge his support of HB 298, MSSA’s Permitless Carry bill. I recommend that you use ALL of these methods to get messages to the Governor, or at least as many as you have available to you (e.g., I don’t use Twitter).
HB 298 will be on the Governor’s desk today or within a couple of days, so it’s imperative that you ACT NOW!
Pasted further below is the text of the letter I’m sending to the Governor by US Mail on MSSA letterhead and electronically about HB 298. Feel free to farm this letter for ideas that should be expressed in your own words. Your letter should be shorter than mine. If you can’t do any more, you should at least send the Governor a message saying "I agree with MSSA’s position on HB 298. Please support it." Don’t threaten, be polite, and be brief, but ACT NOW.
Contact the Governor
By U.S. Mail:
Governor of Montana
Helena, Montana 59620
Toll Free: 855-318-1330
Email: "Steve Bullock" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
March 19, 2015
Governor Steve Bullock
Helena, Montana 59620
Dear Governor Bullock,
House Bill 298 is headed towards your desk. We’d appreciate your support for HB 298.
Why should you support HB 298? I see five primary reasons.
1) Harmonizing law. HB 298 harmonizes Montana law and makes the legal conditions inside the unmarked city limits lines the same as it has been outside city limits for the last 24 years. That is, HB 598 allows non-criminals to carry concealed firearms without a permit, but HB 298 leaves the permitting process in place for those who want one. There is zero evidence that unpermitted concealed carry has been any sort of problem in the 99.4% of Montana where it has been the norm and law since 1991. It is high time that Montana quit discriminating against citizens in .6% of the state. Why should you tell people inside city limits to sit in the back of the self defense bus?
2) No harm, no foul. Vermont has never since statehood required permits for concealed carry. That has NEVER been a problem there no evidence of elevated criminality or other problems. It’s exactly the same report from the several other states that have adopted permitless carry. Fears predicted about the effect of HB 298 in Montana have simply not materialized elsewhere. Montana people are just as good and competent as the people of these other states. No harm, no foul.
3) The opponents. Billionaire ex-Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg has formed and funded Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action to push gun control across the US. EGS is registered as a lobbying principal in Montana and its registered lobbyist opposed HB 298 in the Legislature. You will hear from EGS and MDA in opposition to HB 298. We don’t need NYC-driven policy in Montana. Our people, customs, and culture are not like theirs. We hope your treatment of HB 298 will reflect Montana culture, not NYC culture.
4) Coat control is nonsensical. The current scheme amounts to government coat control. It is now perfectly legal to carry a firearm openly (unconcealed) inside city limits. That is constitutionally-protected. What is illegal currently is to put on a coat if wearing a firearm and without a permit. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense. There are times of the year in Montana when it is very desirable to wear a coat. Why should a person be required to get a permit to put on a coat just because the person happens to be inside the imaginary and unmarked line called city limits?
5) Untrained people? More discrimination. The following states issue concealed carry permits and require NO training: Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Washington. People from ALL of those states are allowed to carry concealed inside city limits when they visit Montana. They are already afforded the ability to exercise their right protected under the Second Amendment without a training mandate being attached to it, but yet our own citizens are not. There is no evidence that these untrained people are a problem.
Please support HB 298.
Gary Marbut, President