Sheriff candidate endorsements

Dear MSSA Friends,

If you live in Cascade, Sanders, Richland, or McCone counties, MSSA has endorsed sheriff candidates in those counties for the upcoming Primary Election.  These endorsements are as follows:

Cascade County, Great Falls – Jesse Slaughter
Sanders County, Thompson Falls – Shawn Fielders
Richland County, Sidney – Shane Kyhl
In McCone County, Circle, MSSA made an unusual co-endorsement for the Primary of:
Josh Morris and Paul Skyberg

As you know by now, not all races have a contested Primary and not all candidates complete and return MSSA’s candidate questionnaire.  Thus the limited number of Primary endorsements.  MSSA will do another round of endorsements before the General Election in November.

We think the office of sheriff will become even more important to Montana gun owners.  We need sound people in this office.  If you live in one of these counties, or have friends in one of these counties, please spread this information.

Best wishes,

MSSA Primary Election legislative endorsements

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA has made a number of endorsements only for the June, 2022 Primary
Election among candidates for the Montana Legislature.  Not every
candidate has a Primary Election challenge.  We will do another round
of endorsements before the General Election.

We do our evaluations based on voting records for incumbents and on
returned MSSA Candidate Questionnaires.  Not all candidate have a
voting record or return our CQ, so MSSA cannot make endorsements in
all contested Primary races.

Here are the races in which MSSA has issued endorsements:

Montana Senate
SD 04, John Fuller, Kalispell
SD 05, Mark Noland, Big Fork
SD 12, Wendy McKamey, Ulm
SD 20, Barry Usher, Billings
SD 43, Jason Ellsworth, Hamilton
SD 49, Brad Tschida, Missoula

Montana House of Representatives
HD 03, Braxton Mitchell, Columbia Falls
HD 05, Lyn Bennett, Whitefish
HD 07, Dave Ingram, Kalispell
HD 08, David Dunn, Whitefish
HD 09, David August, Kalispell
HD 11, Ronalee Skees, Kalispell
HD 14, Denley Loge, St Regis
HD 17, Ross Fitzgerald, Fairfield
HD 20, Fred Anderson Great Falls
HD 23, Brad Hamlett, Cascade
HD 26, Marci Marceau, Great Falls
HD 30, Randyn Gregg, White Sulphur Springs
HD 40, Greg Oblander, Shepherd
HD 55, Lee Deming, Laurel
HD 65, James Cocco, Bozeman
HD 68, Caleb Hinkle, Belgrade
HD 75, Marta Bertoglio, Clancy
HD 81, Jill Sark, Helena
HD 84, Kaitlyn Ruch, Helena
HD 88, Alan Lackey, Stevensville
HD 97, Lyn Hellegaard, Missoula

Best wishes,

Montana races for Congress – endorsements

Sent to the MSSA email list on May 17th:

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA has been wrestling over what advice to offer Montana gun owners
concerning the two congressional races for the Montana Primary
Election, the western district and the eastern district.  MSSA bases
its candidate evaluations on everything that we know about existing
candidates.  This includes voting records for those who have occupied
public office, such as in the Montana Legislature or other.  It
includes answers on MSSA’s Candidate Questionnaire.  Generally, MSSA
would prefer one voting record to five candidate questionnaires.
Voting records never lie.  The information MSSA considers includes
public statements by candidates and any other known and relevant
information.

MSSA takes such candidate evaluations very seriously.  I have always
insisted that MSSA must have a solid basis for such evaluations and
for any endorsements.  These races are not a popularity or beauty
contest for MSSA.  They are serious business.

Western District

In the western district, there are nine candidates for three parties.
In the Primary Election, a voter may only vote on one party ballot.
The Primary Election is actually a nomination process by which each
party’s single candidate is selected to square off against the lone
candidates of other parties in the General Election in November.

In the Republican Primary there are five candidates seeking the
party’s approval.  There are three Democrats, and one Libertarian.
Since the Libertarians have only one candidate, John Lamb, voters only
get that choice if they vote the Libertarian ballot.  MSSA doesn’t do
endorsements when there is only one candidate and no contest.

Among the Democrats, only Tom Winter has a voting record.  MSSA scored
Winter as a “D” in 2018 because of his voting record in the
Legislature.  For this 2022 congressional race, none of the Democrat
contenders returned the MSSA Candidate Questionnaire (CQ).  So, there
is no candidate in the Democrat Primary who warrants an MSSA
endorsement.

The Republican field for the western congressional district has five
contenders.  Matt Jette did not return MSSA’s CQ and has no voting
record.  At the recent MSSA candidate debate he suggested that some
gun control might be appropriate.

Mitch Heuer did not return MSSA’s CQ and has no voting record.  He is
dedicated to fixing things and practical solutions.  That makes one
wonder where principle fits in for him and if he would stray to
supporting gun control if he were persuaded that would fix an alleged
problem.  With no voting record, that is problematic.

Mary Todd has no voting record but she did submit a fine CQ.  However,
her primary reason for running is to seek justice for her son, who was
allegedly murdered.  It’s hard to criticize her for that, but that is
an insufficient basis to represent the people of western Montana in
Congress.

Ryan Zinke served in the Montana Senate in 2009 and 2011.  In 2009, he
had an “F” voting record on bills MSSA tracked.  In 2011 Zinke earned
a “B” for his voting record.  Zinke later served one term in the US
House, and then as Secretary of the Interior.  MSSA doesn’t know of
anything remarkable Zinke did in those posts relevant to the MSSA
mission.  While all other current Republican candidates for the
western district US House seat attended the recent MSSA candidate
forum in Missoula, Zinke did not.  Finally, Zinke is on record as
having opposed civilian ownership of .50-caliber rifles, and he has
questioned civilian possession of “military-style” rifles.

Dr. Al Olszewski served in the Montana Legislature from 2015 to 2019.
Throughout that period, his record on bills that MSSA tracked was a
consistent 100%.  In 2016, MSSA graded him as an “A” and endorsed him
for the Montana Senate.

In this five-way Republican Primary race for the western district
seat, Dr. Al Olszewski is clearly the best candidate and gets MSSA’s
endorsement.

Eastern District

There are ten surviving (one died) candidates for the eastern
district, four Republicans, three Libertarians, two Democrats, and one
pending (per Secretary of State) Independent.

For the Primary, MSSA ignores the pending Independent, Gary Buchanan,
since there is no contest.

Neither of the Democrats has a voting record or returned an MSSA CQ,
so no endorsement in that contest.

None of the Libertarians returned an MSSA CQ or have a voting record,
so no endorsement.  They’re all probably good on the RKBA, but
specifics are unknown.  I know Roger Roots personally.  He is an
excellent and sharp guy, but that knowledge is not a documented basis
for an MSSA endorsement.

In the Republican race, MSSA has a fine CQ from James Boyette, but no
voting record.  MSSA doesn’t have either a CQ or voting record from
candidates Kyle Austin or Charles Walkingchild.

Matt Rosendale has a 100% voting record on bills MSSA tracked from his
time in the Montana Legislature.  Better, Rosendale successfully
sponsored MSSA’s Ammunition Availability Act, to encourage the
manufacture of cartridge brass, smokeless powder, and primers in
Montana.  He has not only been a good representative for Montana gun
owners, he has been a champion of the RKBA.  Plus, Rosendale currently
serves in Congress representing Montana at large.  MSSA endorses Matt
Rosendale for the Republican Primary for the eastern district US House
seat.

Best wishes,

Montana Supreme Court Races

Sent to the MSSA email list on April 13th:

Dear MSSA Friends,

What’s up with the races for the Montana Supreme Court (MSC)?  Great question.

First, some background.  The MSC is one of the last bastions of
politically liberal power in Montana.  The left has lost all the
statewide offices and the Legislature because of the left’s practiced
irrelevance.  What power the left holds on to, so far, is the
education industry, some local governments, and the MSC.

The MSC is made up of nine justices, a Chief Justice, and eight
Associate Justices.  They are all elected to staggered eight-year
terms.  Two of those seats are up for election this election cycle.
Two of the sitting justices are thought to be neutral or conservative.
The remaining and dominant seven are generally seen as political
liberals.

The liberal majority of the MSC has basically controlled Montana
public policy for decades.  Nothing important happens with public
policy in Montana unless the MSC allows it.  More specifically, any
substantial political effort to limit or reduce taxation, or to limit
or reduce government growth and power, gets hauled before the MSC by
liberal syncopates, whereupon the MSC figures out some way, often
clever or disingenuous way, to torpedo the effort.  This phenomenon
has played out many times.

So, we do need to elect justices to the MSC who will not run Montana
like a liberal fiefdom, but who will simply to the job they’ve taken
an oath to do, to “support, protect and defend the constitution.”

This election cycle, there are two seats on the MSC up for election.
The top two vote-getters in the June Primary will advance to the
General Election ballot in November.  For MSC Justice #1, there are
only two candidates, so both will advance to the General Election.
About these two:

Bill D’Alton is an unknown from Billings.  He doesn’t have any record
of votes or decisions that I know of.  He listed no phone number or
Website with the Secretary of State when he filed to run for office.
He did not return MSSA’s Judicial Candidate Questionnaire.  From this
dearth of information, I assume he is the liberal’s choice to take
this MSC seat, but trying to run a stealthy campaign.  He will
probably be well funded by the dying but desperate liberal
establishment, so you will see a lot of nicely-done but senseless ads
for him before the General Election.

Jim Rice is the incumbent.  Jim has a voting record from when he was
in the Legislature, and it’s a good record on our issues.  Jim was
also the author of the MSC decision that slapped down the Missoula
City Council and its attempt at gun control.  Finally, I know Jim
personally and like him politically for the issues within MSSA’s
mission area.

Right, MSC justices are not supposed to be political.  If you’re
willing to believe that, I have some nice oceanfront property near
Roundup to sell you.

The other MSC seat up for election is Justice #2.

The incumbent Justice is Ingrid Gustafson.  She is seen by many
observers as the most liberal of all justices on the MSC, although
there is stiff competition for this title.  She did not return an MSSA
Candidate Questionnaire.  She is not likely to be a friend of Montana
gun owners or our constitutional RKBA on the MSC.

The next candidate is Helena District Court Judge Michael McMahon.
This is the judge who ruled against Montana gun owners in the lawsuit
by the Board of Regents to block the campus carry feature of MSSA’s
2021 House Bill 102.  He ruled that the Regents could ignore the Right
to Keep or Bear Arms that the people have reserved to themselves from
government interference in the Montana Constitution.  Even worse, he
ruled that if MSSA were involved in this lawsuit about campus guns on
behalf of Montana gun owners, MSSA would not be allowed to discuss the
RKBA reserved to the people in either the federal or state
constitutions.  This from a public servant who swore an oath to
“support, protect and defend the constitution.”  This is why I filed a
Complaint against McMahon with the Judicial Standards Commission for
violation of his oath of office.  Montana gun owners definitely
deserve better that McMahon on the MSC.

The third candidate is Attorney Jim Brown of Helena.  Jim understands
the RKBA.  When MSSA was litigating our Montana Firearms Freedom Act
in the federal court system, Jim wrote an amicus brief for us.  He has
collaborated on other RKBA issues.  He is currently elected to the
Public Service Commission.  Brown would make a great replacement for
Gustafson on the MSC.

So, that’s the situation with the MSC.  Bottom line:  Rice and Brown,
or Brown Rice if that helps you remember.

Best wishes,

Major Announcement

Major Montana Event – May 14, 2022
The Future of Gun Ownership in Montana

On May 14th, Montana Shooting Sports Association will host a banquet
and discussion about The Future of Gun Ownership in Montana.  The
dinner will take place at 6:00pm on May 14, 2022, at the Hilton Garden
Inn Missoula.  Confirmed speakers for the event are Montana Attorney
General Austin Knudsen, and Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter.
Montana’s U.S. Senator Jon Tester is slated to speak as well if his
schedule permits.

Prior to the dinner, starting at 4:00pm there will be a debate between
the candidates for the new Montana U.S. House District 2 seat. Several
candidates are confirmed at this time.  The debate will be moderated
by radio personality Aaron Flint.

Tickets for the dinner event are $75 per person and can be purchased
at www.myevent.com/FGOMT. There will be three menu options for the
dinner including Beef, Chicken, or Fish. To purchase a table of 10
seats or to become a sponsor for the event contact randy@wmfga.org.
A limited number of tickets will be sold.  Get them soon.

There will be a no host reception from 5:00 – 6:00 PM in the lobby of
the Hilton Garden Inn

A block of rooms has been set aside at the Hilton Garden Inn for $169
/ night.  Attendees must make their own reservations. Other hotel
options within walking distance are listed below.

Current sponsors for this event are the Western Montana Fish and Game
Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America,
and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Please join us as we come together with other Montanans to discuss The
Future of Gun Ownership in Montana.

Host Hotel
Hilton Garden Inn
3720 North Reserve Street
Missoula, MT 59808
406-532-5300

Additional Hotel Options
Hampton Inn                           Courtyard by Marriott
       Econo Lodge
4805 N Reserve St                   4559 N Reserve St
     4953 N Reserve St
Missoula, MT 59808               Missoula, MT 59808
Missoula, MT 59808
406-549-1800                          406-549-5260
          406-542-7550

Holiday Inn Express              Quality Inns and Suites
    Woodspring Suites
150 Expressway                     4545 N Reserve St
       3035 Stockyard Rd
Missoula, MT 59808              Missoula, MT 59808
 Missoula, MT 59808
406-830-3100                         406-203-1341
           406-317-7444

Major Announcement

Major Montana Event – May 14, 2022
The Future of Gun Ownership in Montana

On May 14th, Montana Shooting Sports Association will host a banquet
and discussion about The Future of Gun Ownership in Montana.  The
dinner will take place at 6:00pm on May 14, 2022, at the Hilton Garden
Inn Missoula.  Confirmed speakers for the event are Montana Attorney
General Austin Knudsen, and Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter.
Montana’s U.S. Senator Jon Tester is slated to speak as well if his
schedule permits.

Prior to the dinner, starting at 4:00pm there will be a debate between
the candidates for the new Montana U.S. House District 2 seat. Several
candidates are confirmed at this time.  The debate will be moderated
by radio personality Aaron Flint.

Tickets for the dinner event are $75 per person and can be purchased
at www.myevent.com/FGOMT. There will be three menu options for the
dinner including Beef, Chicken, or Fish. To purchase a table of 10
seats or to become a sponsor for the event contact randy@wmfga.org.
A limited number of tickets will be sold.  Get them soon.

There will be a no host reception from 5:00 – 6:00 PM in the lobby of
the Hilton Garden Inn

A block of rooms has been set aside at the Hilton Garden Inn for $169
/ night.  Attendees must make their own reservations. Other hotel
options within walking distance are listed below.

Current sponsors for this event are the Western Montana Fish and Game
Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America,
and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Please join us as we come together with other Montanans to discuss The
Future of Gun Ownership in Montana.

Host Hotel
Hilton Garden Inn
3720 North Reserve Street
Missoula, MT 59808
406-532-5300

Additional Hotel Options
Hampton Inn                           Courtyard by Marriott
       Econo Lodge
4805 N Reserve St                   4559 N Reserve St
     4953 N Reserve St
Missoula, MT 59808               Missoula, MT 59808
Missoula, MT 59808
406-549-1800                          406-549-5260
          406-542-7550

Holiday Inn Express              Quality Inns and Suites
    Woodspring Suites
150 Expressway                     4545 N Reserve St
       3035 Stockyard Rd
Missoula, MT 59808              Missoula, MT 59808
 Missoula, MT 59808
406-830-3100                         406-203-1341
           406-317-7444

Your help is needed!

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA needs money to support your Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

I HATE asking for money.  But this is an election year and there are Montana political battles that must be fought, and won, IF we can afford the fight.  Foremost, there will be the expense to explain LR-130 to the voting public.  Then, there will be the race for Governor, for Attorney General, and for seats in the Montana Legislature.

If Montana hopes to avoid the debacle unfolding in Virginia, the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) MUST be involved in all of these important races.  That takes money.  That’s up to you.  There are no sugar daddies out there to drop big bucks on MSSA.  Just you.

A lot of pro-gun entities beg for money with every email they send.  I don’t like that, so I don’t do it.  But, I wouldn’t be a good leader for MSSA if I didn’t bite the bullet and send you this pitch for a donation for MSSA’s political effort.

Yes, MSSA has been highly successful.  Because of that, gun laws are good in Montana.  You don’t feel threatened – at least not this week.  But, the threats to your RKBA are just around the corner, when the Legislature meets a year from now.  There WILL be bills introduced for a universal background check, for a red flag law, and other restrictions on your rights.  The only thing standing between you and the loss of your gun rights in Montana is MSSA.

We need to make sure we get a governor elected who will sign our pro-gun bills, and legislators elected who will kill the anti-gun bills.  Again, that takes money.

MSSA can only spend money on political stuff from its Political Action Committee (PAC), an entity separate from our nonprofit MSSA corporation.  So, if you will make a donation for MSSA’s political efforts, it must be made to our PAC, the “Montana Shooting Sports Association Political Committee” (or MSSA-PC for short).

So, a check may be made to MSSA-PC and mailed to:

MSSA-PC
P.O. Box 4924
Missoula, Montana 59806

Here are the rules:  If you donate over $200 in any year, we must report your name, address, occupation, and employer to the Federal Elections Commission.  So, if your check is for more than $200, please include that information.  There is no limit to the amount MSSA can accept from an individual, we just need the information to properly report the donor to the FEC.

We REALLY need to build the treasury for our PAC, and we need your donation to do that!  Please send us the most generous donation you can, or even something every month for the next six to nine months.

Thanks so much for your help in defending your freedoms.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President

Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

  

Sanctuary movement explained for Montana

Dear MSSA Friends,

The national sanctuary movement divides into two categories:  Counties protecting people from abusive state governments, and state governments protecting people from abusive federal laws and policies.  Virginia is an example of the former.

Montana is an example of the latter.  The Montana Legislature passed a bill to protect Montana citizens from new federal gun control laws, but our governor vetoed the bill.  To cure that, we need a new governor.

Concerning the relationship between Montana and its local governments, we have a few local governments attempting to invoke local gun control.  To cure that, we have LR-130 that will appear on the November, 2020 ballot.  LR-130, if passed, will strengthen Montana’s preemption law and close some alleged loopholes a few local governments are trying to exploit to enforce local gun control.

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

A handout to use with LR-130

Dear MSSA Friends,

Some people have been asking for a handout for LR-130 that they can print locally and distribute to friends, or at gun stores, gun shows, shooting ranges, and more.  A .pdf file of such a handout is available for your use from this link.

http://progunleaders.org/LR-130/

You can take this file (printed or electronic) to your local copy shop or printer and ask them to print this two-sided piece on “Astrobright Terra Green Cover” (a bright, lime green, heavy paper) and cut the result into six pocket-sized handouts for each 8.5″X 11″ sheet.  You should be able to get 100 sheets printed and cut (into 600 pieces) for about $50.  If you wish to pay for printing of 25 sheets, 50 sheets, or 200 sheets, that’s up to you.

This is important! Pay for this with your own (personal) money, not the money of some organization such as a local gun club, or a business.  If your gun club or business pays for this, it could be required to form a “political committee”, file a bunch of paperwork with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, and report all sources of income (gun club members?)  However, if you do this with your personal funds, and unless you spend $250 or more, it is a freedom of speech exercise.  No reporting required.

Help freedom, preserve the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, help Montana gun owners, and help MSSA by getting these handouts spread to voters all over Montana.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President

Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

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

Explaining LR-130 and why it’s important to Montana

Dear MSSA Friends,

Some Montana gun owners have asked me where they can actually read LR-130, the November ballot issue to protect our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

I’ll provide a link below to where you can read LR-130 for yourself.  But first let me explain what LR-130 does and how to read it.

LR-130 is the result of House Bill 357 having been passed by the 2019 Legislature.  HB 357 sets a ballot measure to amend two relevant and existing state laws.  When an existing law is amended, language may be added to the law (shown as underlined words), or it can delete language from the law (shown as strikethrough words).

Two current state laws limit cities’ and counties’ authority to regulate firearms, but they are not enough limitation.  One law, 7-1-111(9), M.C.A., prohibits local governments from using “any power that applies to or affects the right to keep or bear arms.”  BUT, it goes on to say, “‘except that a local government has the power to regulate the carrying of concealed weapons.”  LR-130 will remove this “except” clause from the law.

The other law to be amended by LR-130 is 45-8-351, M.C.A.  This law generally prohibits local gun control, BUT says that for “public safety purposes” a local government may adopt and enforce gun control measures in several ways.  LR-130 will dramatically shorten this list of allowed exceptions.  The net effect is that local governments will still be allowed to regulate unpermitted concealed weapons (people carrying concealed illegally inside city limits) and open carry into buildings owned and occupied by governmental entities.  That’s it.  If LR-130 is successful, local governments will no longer have alleged loopholes to exploit as Missoula tried with its universal background check ordinance and various “gun free zones” concerning “parks” and “public assemblies.”

Knowing this much, you are now equipped to read LR-130 at:

https://sosmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/LR-130.pdf

Some local governments and anti-gun political entities in Montana will likely mount a campaign against LR-130.  They may be joined by New York City billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his surrogate entities such as Demanding Moms and Illegal Mayors for Guns.  In this opposition, these opponents will almost certainly make up major and scary lies about the effects of LR-130, trying to stampede low-information voters away from LR-130.  One predictable lie (they’ve already floated this one) is that LR-130 will permit crazy people to go into schools and kill innocent children.  Scary, huh?  But, it’s a lie.  There is a different, existing law (45-8-361, M.C.A.) that prohibits guns in schools, a law that will not be affected by LR-130.  Even though it falls under the general “save the children” category of political argument, this lie is still stupid.  How low must be the IQ of someone who believes that bad people who will ignore laws against murder will be aware of and be deterred from their intended mayhem by an obscure city ordinance.

Although the Montana Constitution has a very strong reservation of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, that reservation is useless if any city or county may concoct and enforce local gun control, creating a patchwork of gun control across the state just waiting to entrap an unwary traveler.  Thus, 7-1-111 and 45-8-351, as updated by LR-130, are the actual implementation of the RKBA in the Montana Constitution.  That’s why LR-130 is so important.

Please explain LR-130 to all your friends and neighbors, at your local gun club, to the staff at local gun stores, and anywhere else you can.  LR-130 MUST PASS in November.

Thanks loads,

Gary Marbut, President

Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana