Governor Bullock vetoed MSSA’s suppressor bill today, SB 295. But, he signed HB 250, which will allow for hunting with registered suppressors. He says he vetoed HB 295 BECAUSE he signed HB 250.
The difference between the two is that the Governor’s choice in bills now makes it illegal four different ways to hunt with an unregistered suppressor, instead of the three different ways it was illegal to hunt with an unregistered suppressor before he signed HB 250. Go figure.
I’m sure the hundreds, maybe thousands, of victims of illegal, unregistered suppressed-rifle hunting will be comforted to know that their victimizers may now be prosecuted not just under three felony criminal statutes, but under three felony criminal statute plus one misdemeanor statute (Caution, sarcasm font used.) (Truly, in the single case in Montana history where an illegal suppressor was used for poaching, the poacher was never charged by FWP or any other authorities with possession of an unregistered, illegal suppressor, but was only charged with poaching.)
The governor’s veto message for SB 295 is below.
The bottom line is that Montana will now allow hunting with ATF-registered suppressors. HB 250 is effective as of today.
Dear President Barrett and Speaker Knudsen:
Today I signed House Bill 250, entitled "AN ACT CLARIFYING THAT SOUND REDUCTION DEVICES MAYBE USED ON FIREARMS WHILE HUNTING WILDLIFE; AMENDING SECTION 87-6-401, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE." When this bill first came to my office, I offered amendments that made the use of a suppressor on a firearm lawful while hunting in Montana. These amendments received strong bipartisan support in the legislature, and with my signature today HB 250 is now law.
In accordance with the power vested in me as Governor by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Montana, I do hereby veto Senate Bill 295 (SB 295), "AN ACT ELIMINATING A STATE LIMIT ATION ON THE USE OF SOUND REDUCTION DEVICES ON FIREARMS; AMENDING SECTIONS 87-]-201, 87-1-301, AND 87-6-401, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE. As a result of my action today on HB 250, this bill is not necessary. For this reason, I veto SB 295