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