Legislative update, 3/2/19

Dear MSSA Friends,

Montana legislators are now on their mid-session break.  Yes, the legislative session is half way done.  It’s time for an update about the various measures MSSA is working on.  I’ll include (S) for bills MSSA SUPPORTS, and (O) for bills MSSA OPPOSES.  An * indicates a priority bill, for or against.

HB 145 (S) – to eliminate the requirement that a CWP-holder must notify law enforcement when changing county of residence.  Passed House and Senate and sent to the Governor for his signature or veto.

HB 155 (S) – to prevent cities and counties from enacting local rules regulating knives.  Passed the House and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee; public hearing scheduled for 3/12.

*HB 226 – MSSA’s bill to exempt nonprofit shooting ranges from property taxes.  Passed by House; public hearing held before the Senate Taxation Committee on 2/25; waiting for action by committee (keep messages coming to S-Tax Committee members urging support for this bill).

HB 322 (S) – to it make optional for a CWP applicant provide an SSN on a CWP application.  Passed the House and scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/13.

*HB 325 (S) – to amend the Montana preemption law to prevent local governments from creating a patchwork of local gun control laws across Montana.  Passed the House and scheduled for a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/15.

*HB 357 (S) – identical to HB 325, but a referendum to go to a vote of the people should Governor Bullock veto HB 325.  Passed the House and scheduled for a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/15.

HB 435 (O) – to allow come communities near tourist attractions to impose a broad sales tax, to include on firearms, ammunition, and accessories.  Hearing before the House Taxation Committee on 2/27; no committee action yet.

*HB 477 (O) – to authorize the Office of Public Instruction to devise rules for safe firearm storage, to distribute these rules to schools to schools for instruction of children, and to create a penalty for unsafe storage of firearms.  Scheduled for a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on 3/12.

*HB 480 (O) – HB 477 on steroids, establishing storage requirements for firearms and creating criminal penalties for violation of requirements. Scheduled for a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on 3/12.

Dead.  HB 582 (O) – to require suicide prevention materials from the Department of Public Health and Human Services to be distributed by the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks at Hunter Education classes.  Died on Second Reading in the House on 2/28.

HB 646 (O) – to provide a tax credit of up to $300 for the purchase of a (expensive) gun safe.  (Note:  The next step will be to require that all guns be kept unloaded and locked in gun safes.)  Not assigned to a committee or scheduled for a hearing yet.

Dead.  *SB 95 (O) – basically to create a “red flag” law.  Tabled by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 1/24.

Dead.  *SB 303 (O) – to require reporting certain mental health records to the FBI for the NICS system.  Tabled by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 2/26.

Stay tuned for MSSA alerts about messages needed to legislators.

Best wishes,

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