I wrote this right after Bullock vetoed HB 298, but didn’t want to release it until MSSA no longer had any bills potentially hostage to the Governor:
The people of Kansas are more law-abiding and trustworthy than the people of Montana, at least that’s what the respective governors of those states believe.
Sam Brownback, Governor of Kansas, just signed into law a bill that would allow adults in Kansas to carry firearms discreetly without advanced government permission.
Meanwhile, Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana, just vetoed HB 298, a bill that would have allowed non-criminal adults in 6/10ths of 1% of Montana to carry discreetly without advanced government permission. The rest of Montana, 99.4% of Montana, has been that way for 24 years now, entirely without the negative consequences now predicted if HB 298 had been signed by the Governor.
In order to justify his distrust of Montana people, Governor Bullock had to lie about the consequences of HB 298, unless you wish to be more generous and simply suppose that former Attorney General Bullock is dangerously incompetent in misunderstanding Montana law on the subject.
Just two of the several lies the Governor told to justify his veto from his veto letter are, HB 298 would void our state’s reciprocity agreements with more than 40 states that recognize concealed weapon permits and it would void our laws allowing Montana permit holders to bypass the federal background check required for a firearm purchase.
The first truth is that Montana has zero reciprocity agreements with any other states none -, so there is nothing to be voided. Plus, HB 298 had no effect whatsoever on the existing Montana law recognizing permits of other states for use in Montana.
The second truth is that there is no way at all to bypass the federally-required background checks for Montana people to buy firearms from licensed dealers. All that Montana law does is to allow a permit to clarify that the buyer is not some other prohibited person who the federal computers may confuse the buyer with. Plus, HB 298 had no effect whatsoever on that existing Montana statute.
Really, the Governor knows this stuff, or at least he should unless he’s dangerously incompetent.
Or, Governor Bullock simply lied to the people of Montana in attempt to justify his rank distrust of Montana people, unlike Kansas Governor Brownback who appears to believe the people of Kansas more trustworthy than Bullock believes the people of Montana to be.
Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana