Dear MSSA Friends,
Several items of interest today.
Reports on the Website of the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices show that billionaire ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s organization, Everytown for Gun Slander, has spent over $56,000 so far this legislative session in Montana influencing legislators to oppose MSSA bills. Their level of success demonstrates again Montana’s Copper King history that Montana has the best politicians that money can buy. When the legislators who were swing votes on failed MSSA bills this session run for reelection, I’m sure their pro-gun constituents will be impressed to learn how easily NYC Bloomberg’s anti-gun money turned these politicians against their constituents to do Bloomberg’s bidding. Stay tuned for more on this after the session is over.
The Senate Finance and Claims Committee tabled HB 234, MSSA’s bill to prevent the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks from stealing the money the Legislature appropriates for the Shooting Range Development Program. The Committee was spooked by the threat that if FWP is not allowed to steal the SRDP money then Montana would be ineligible to receive $27 million in federal funding from the Pittman-Robertson Act (11% excise tax on guns and ammo). This was clearly a case of feds and FWP conspiring to maintain FWP as an 800-pound gorilla that can do anything it wants, notwithstanding legislative direction.
The House passed SB 122, MSSA’s bill to encourage manufacture of ammo components in Montana, on Third Reading. SB 122 will now go back to the Senate for Senate concurrence with a couple of minor, technical amendments made by the House Taxation Committee. Senate concurrence is expected. Then, SB 122 will go to Governor Bullock. Who knows what Governor Bullock will do with SB 122, but it is clearly a jobs bill, an economic development bill for Montana, and it doesn’t cost Montana a dime. So, if the Governor doesn’t sign SB 122, he will have to invent some imaginary downside to justify that.
Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana