On Second Reading today, the House voted 57-43 to approve HB 234, MSSA’s range funding bill.
Although there are no guarantees in this political business, I expect this vote will hold for Third Reading tomorrow. If so, then HB 234 will move on to the Senate, and almost certainly to the Senate Finance and Claims Committee.
One of the arguments FWP made against HB 234, and that was replayed on the House floor today, is FWP’s claim that there are simply not enough applications for range development grants to justify the $700,000 in the bill for the next two years. They don’t confess that they manufactured the shortage of applications by telling would-be applicants to not bother to submit applications because there’s no money left (after FWP diverted it to other purposes).
The deadline for grant applications for this year (and for any part of the $700K in HB 234) is May 1, just a month from now.
INTERSTED RANGES NEED TO GET GRANT APPLICATIONS IN IMMEDIATELY to meet this May 1 deadline. Don’t let FWP persuade you to not apply. We need to use this money or FWP will just argue next session that this program is not needed.
I’ve developed a lot of information about Montana shooting ranges, including how to apply for range development grants, at: