WND story about federal Bozeman raid

Dear MSSA Friends,

A fresh story about the federal raid on the Bozeman brass recycler is posted at:
http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/armed-fed-raid-prompted-by-safety-rules/

My deadline for the Montana Attorney General to respond to my request for investigation of this incident is today at Noon.  Nothing yet.  Stay tuned for more.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

Smokeless powder supply

Dear MSSA Friends,

The clip below is from today’s edition of Stephen Wenger’s daily DUF Digest, a free email with LOTS of good information.  If you’re an infojunkie like me, you should subscribe.  There’s also a lot of good information posted on Stephen’s Website.  You may subscribe to the daily DUF digest at:
http://www.spw-duf.info/

The second largest small arms propellant manufacturer in the world remains evacuated as a French hazardous materials company slowly continues to wet down and clear the site, hoping to avoid triggering a secondary blast or fire. An exclusion area extending 350 meters from the perimeter of the factory affecting 31 homes has been mandated until Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 PM, and may be extended. A local news site says it impossible to know when the clean-up will be finished, as each step of the clean-up has to be verified before they can advance… One hopeful estimate suggests that the company¬ís rifle propellant line will be out of commission for just 90 days, though few industry sources seem to believe that this is a realistic figure…

http://bearingarms.com/clearing-of-pb-clermont-site-continues-impact-of-explosion-ripples-through-ammunition-industry/

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

About lead for bullets in the US

Dear MSSA Friends,

I’ve seen a lot of concern expressed because the last lead smelter in the US was closed because of the pressure from EPA regulations.

It’s true that this smelter in Missouri was the last PRIMATY lead smelter in the US.  Primary means a smelter that processes lead from a mine rich in lead ore, as this smelter was processing ore from the traditionally rich lead mines of Missouri, which have been a significant source of lead in the US since not long after the Louisiana Purchase.

However, today’s bullet manufacturers report that they buy their lead almost exclusively from SECONDARY lead smelters in the US.  There are a number of these secondary smelters that produce lead by recycling products which use lead, mostly automotive batteries.

However again, these secondary lead smelters are also coming under increased EPA regulatory pressure, including one in southern California which is curtailing or shutting down operations at least temporarily to address cleanup issues.

Will these secondary smelters survive and be able to continue meeting the demands of bullet manufacturers?  Maybe; maybe not.  Meanwhile, more lead is now being imported from Mexico, Canada, and other places (they say it’s now a global economic world and a global marketplace).

Bottom line:  Closure of the last primary lead smelter in the US should not curtail bullet production, but continued pressure on secondary smelters could very well have that effect.  And, you can bet that there are those who would love to use government power to end component suppliers for ammunition altogether.  Add to that the ongoing effort to use environmental concerns to totally prohibit use of lead in all ammunition, as has been done with lead shot in places like California.

So, there is reason to be concerned about the overall outlook for lead for ammunition, but there is not reason to panic only because the last primary lead smelter in the US has closed.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

A bit of frustration here

Dear MSSA Friends,

The Governor of Idaho just signed into law a bill prohibiting state and local employees from enforcing any new federal gun laws, such as magazine limitations or semi-auto bans.

I’ve probably had 40 emails from Montana people saying, “This new is Idaho law great.  We should do this here.”

MSSA got this bill through the Montana Legislature in 2013 as HB 302, but Governor Bullock vetoed it on 03/28/2013.  The Governor wouldn’t have vetoed this bill if enough Montanans had contacted him insisting he sign it, especially including all the clueless people telling me, “Gee, we should do this in Montana,” people who missed that we already DID do this in Montana already, but that our considerable effort failed because those people were napping or inactive.

Am I frustrated?  Absolutely.

Just maybe, if we get this bill passed by the Legislature again in the 2015 session, these people will wake up long enough to notice and rally their friends to contact the Governor insisting he sign the danged bill.

Whew!!!

Okay, I feel a little better now.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

Advisory – videorecording police

Dear MSSA Friends,

I am seeing more reports of people being arrested and charged with various crimes (e.g., wiretapping, obstruction, etc.) for videorecording police in public places, reports from states other than Montana.

So, I sent an email to a contact at the Montana Department of Justice and asked what advice MT DoJ gives to police officers and agencies about video recording (or audio recording, I suppose) police in public places in Montana.  Here is the reply I received:

Here is a little bit on how we train law enforcement on the issue you asked about in your email.  The Montana Law Enforcement Academy trains on this issue quite a bit.  Students are told very sternly that citizens have the right to photograph and video tape officers and to not interfere with these types of acts.  The exception is if the person videotaping is in such close proximately to the event that it would impede the officers efforts or create a hazard or risk to the situation.  Even in those instance officers are trained to explain to the person why this is impeding or interfering and ask them to move to another location so as to not create a hazard.
So just to clarify, the act of videoing an incident alone does not mean a person would be arrested. To rise to a level of obstruction of justice, the person videoing must be actually interfering with the investigation or arrest. So videoing is not on illegal on its face or even a gray area.

Interesting!  Good to know.

Generally, the courts reviewing these situations in other states have held that when police are doing their public job in public places they have no expectation of privacy.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

Report – MSSA Annual Meeting

Dear MSSA Friends,

At the Annual Meeting yesterday in Helena, MSSA re-elected All existing officers and three members of the Board of Directors whose terms were expiring.  In addition, a vacant position on the MSSA Board was filled with the election of Keith VanSetten to the Board.  Keith is from Choteau and is Sheriff of Teton County.  We welcome Keith to the Board.

MSSA also finalized its legislative agenda for the 2015 Montana Legislative Session.  In order of priority, here are the issues the MSSA Board and members selected for the MSSA legislative agenda for next session:

1.  Encourage the manufacture of ammunition components in Montana.  This will be MSSA’s flagship bill for the session.

2.  Prohibit enforcement of any new federal gun control laws by state and local government employees.

3.  Safe Travel to Work.  Allow for “Safe Travel to Work” by preventing employers from firing employees who have a firearm locked in the employee’s private vehicle in the employer’s parking lot.

4.  Prohibited Places.  Address the non sequitur of the “prohibited places” at 45-8-328 where anyone may carry a firearm openly but CWP-holders may not exercise their permits.

5.  Campus Carry.  Allow campus carry by determining that campus authorities have no power to suspend, amend or abolish the Montana Constitution and the right to keep and bear arms that the people have secured there to prevent interference by governmental entities.

6.  Sheriffs First.  Insure cooperation from federal law enforcement officers by requiring that they obtain written permission from the elected county sheriff before conducting an arrest, search or seizure in Montana.

7.  Sound Suppressors for Hunting.  Remove the prohibition for use of suppressors for hunting regulated game in Montana.

8.  Permitless carry.  Make the law inside cities the same as it has been outside cities for 23 years by allowing concealed carry inside cities without a permit.

9.  Guns at School.  Clarify that school boards have full discretion over discipline applied to students who deliberately or inadvertently bring a firearm to school.

10.  Bankruptcy and Firearms.  Allow up to $5,000 of firearms, archery equipment and ammunition that a person has owned for a year or more to be exempt from claims under bankruptcy.

11.  Home Guard.  Expand upon existing laws establishing the Montana Home Guard to specify organization, mission, duties, responsibilities and control.

As MSSA ramps up towards the 2015 Legislative Session, MSSA needs to expand its membership and also increase the numbers of people we reach on this email list.  Please join MSSA if you’re not already a member.  Go to:
http://www.mtssa.org/membership.phtml

Please also forward this email to other Montanans and encourage them to send an email to MSSA asking to be put on the MSSA email list.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

Another run on ammo – maybe; maybe not

Dear MSSA Friends,

I just got word that because of strained international relations Russia has suspended all exports of ammo to the U.S.  See:

http://www.silverdoctors.com/breaking-ammo-rush-begins-again-as-russia-halts-soviet-ammunition-exports-to-the-us/#more-39649

Is this true?  I don’t know.  I don’t have the means to confirm it or not.

However, those who have depended on a steady supply of Russian-manufactured ammunition could be disappointed.  If this information is true, this development will put additional stress on the already-stressed ammo supply situation in the U.S.

Just FYI.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com

It’s over – MSSA v. Holder

Dear MSSA Friends,

The US Supreme Court has declined to accept the State of Montana’s separate petition for review of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in our lawsuit to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA), MSSA v. Holder.  We’re now at the end of this particular road.

Thanks ever so much to Missoula attorney Quentin Rhoades for being MSSA’s sympathetic and competent legal counsel throughout.  Thanks also to MSSA’s partner in this lawsuit, the Second Amendment Foundation.  And, thanks to the Montana legislators who believed enough in liberty and states’ rights to pass the MFFA.

Still, there’s more to be said about the effort.

The MFFA caught a sympathetic wave as the first legislation of its type in the US.  It was cloned and enacted in eight other states, and cloned and introduced in the legislatures of about 23 other states yet.  Clearly, a majority of the states of the US are operating under the same frustration with the run amok federal government as is Montana.  Further, the MFFA inspired a whole wave of other “freedom acts,” such as the light bulb freedom act, the whiskey freedom act, the tobacco freedom act, the healthcare freedom act, and others.  Inspired by the MFFA, the US is now alive with “nullification” efforts at the state level – state efforts telling the federal government to back off.

Also, because there are enacted or introduced FFAs in so many other states, there may well be parallel lawsuits occurring in other federal court circuits, putting pressure on the Supreme Court to rethink its rejection of the effort.

There is certainly good reason for the Supreme Court to step into this general controversy, if it has any hope to maintain respect for it’s historic-but-abandoned turf as any sort of check on the other federal branches.  See again my open letter to the Supreme Court urging the justices to accept MSSA v. Holder, at:
http://www.wnd.com/files/2013/11/MontanaLetter22.pdf

In a gentlemen’s agreement with the BATFE, and while our lawsuit was working, I steadfastly advised everyone to NOT make and sell the Montana-only firearms authorized by the MFFA.  I no longer take that position.  However, I DO now warn people that attempting to do what the MFFA authorizes may result in federal persecution (and prosecution).

Finally, this epic trip to the US Supreme Court, and the Court’s rejection of MSSA v. Holder, have finally persuaded me that it is fruitless to expect any part of the federal government to control the lust for centralized and tyrannical power that our federal government displays.  Further, and perhaps more important, it proves that it is improper to rely on the federal government, or any branch thereof, to be the judge of what powers the states have delegated to the federal government in the Constitution.  As the creator of the Constitution and the federal government, only the states may properly or practically do that.

That’s why I have proposed the concept of the Constitutional Settlements Commission (CSC), a way for the states to operate in unison to “just say no” to the federal government and its countless minions.  For a more thorough discussion of the CSC concept, see:
http://www.marbut.com/csc

In closing, I must admit that my fervent hopes for a peaceful restoration of individual liberty and states’ rights have been dimmed by the Supreme Court and it’s rejection of MSSA v. Holder.  I wonder if the justices of the Supreme Court have noticed what’s going on in the Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, and other places.

It’s been a great run.  Thanks for your interest and support.  While I remain totally committed to peaceful political efforts to restore liberty, the alternative is never off the table.  That’s exactly why we have reserved to ourselves the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.MTPublish.com