Postmortem, HB 385 – School Safety Act

Dear MSSA Friends,

The Montana School Safety Act, HB 385, failed to pass Second Reading in the House yesterday, 2/27.  HB 385 would have allowed a full-time school employee with a concealed weapon permit AND enhanced training to exercise that permit at school as long as the person’s firearm was always concealed and always secured.

The public education industry ramped up in opposition to HB 385.  That included the teacher’s unions, the school administrators, and the school boards association.  They heavily lobbied legislators, saying that guns in schools are just are just too dangerous around children, and that existing no-guns policies will keep children safe.  Of course, they would never support a bill to prevent police from bringing guns into schools.  Police guns are good, and safe around children, don’t you know.  An unspoken but obvious element of the opposition argument is that school employees are too incompetent to be trusted with firearms around children.  Hmmm.  Do they know their people better than I do?

HB 385 failed on a 44-56 vote.  All Democrat members of the House voted against HB 385, and the following 14 Republicans also voted against it:

Rob Cook, Conrad
Geraldine Custer, Forsyth
Jeff Essman, Billings
Ross Fitzgerald, Fairfield
Frank Garner, Kalispell
Bruce Grubbs, Bozeman
Jon Knokey, Bozeman
Denley Loge, St. Regis
Vince Ricci, Laurel
Walt Sales, Manhattan
Ray Shaw, Sheridan
Lola Sheldon-Galloway, Great Falls
Scott Staffanson, Sidney
Tom Welch, Dillon

Of course, I am disappointed that so many Republicans bought into the propaganda of the public education industry.  But that’s for Montana gun owners to take up with these Representatives.  MSSA’s job is to get the bills introduced and to provide you with the information to empower you to hold legislators accountable.

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