Sheriffs First dies on Second Reading

Dear MSSA Friends,

Sheriffs First, HB 274, went down by 39-61 on Second Reading on the floor of the House today.  A bunch of Republicans voted against it, probably because of heavy lobbying by sheriffs.  That is driven by the President of the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, Sheriff Chris Hoffman of Ravalli County, and MSPOA lobbyist Jim Smith.  The Republicans who voted against HB 274 include:

Tom Berry
Christy Clark
Rob Cook
Geraldine Custer
Ron Ehli
Jeff Essman
Steve Fitzpatrick
Frank Garner
Edward Greef
Roy Hollandsworth
Mike Lang
Steve Lavin
Forrest Mandeville
Mike Miller
Doc Moore
Tom Richmond
Daniel Salomon
Ray Shaw
Kirk Wagoner
Jeffrey Welborn

Stay tuned for more …

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

REMINDER – Sheriffs First, Monday, Second Reading

Dear MSSA Friends,

A REMINDER:

MSSA’s Sheriffs First bill, HB 274, will be up for Second Reading on the House floor on Monday, 2/9, at 1:00 PM.

Please get a message to your Representative (not Senator) to support HB 274.  Remember, be polite; be brief.

In addition to your Representative, it would be good for these other Representatives to hear from you, either because they voted against HB 203 today, or because we worry they might not support HB 274:

Tom Berry
Christy Clark
Frank Garner
Steve Lavin
Kirk Wagoner

If you say more than just "Please support HB 274," you could also mention that the amendments by the House Judiciary Committee cured all the objections raised by opponents in the public hearing.

Again, you can get messages to legislators by calling the Message Center, 444-4800 (week days, 8-5), or by using the Online Message Form:
http://www.leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/64th/legwebmessage.asp

You only have until 1PM tomorrow (Monday) to weigh in.

Thanks for your help!!

Best wishes,

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

ACTION – Sheriffs First, Monday, Second Reading

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA’s Sheriffs First bill, HB 274, will be up for Second Reading on the House floor on Monday, 2/9, at 1:00 PM.

Please get a message to your Representative (not Senator) to support HB 274.  Remember, be polite; be brief.

In addition to your Representative, it would be good for these other Representatives to hear from you, either because they voted against HB 203 today, or because we worry they might not support HB 274:

Tom Berry
Christy Clark
Frank Garner
Steve Lavin
Kirk Wagoner

If you say more than just "Please support HB 274," you could also mention that the amendments by the House Judiciary Committee cured all the objections raised by opponents in the public hearing.

Again, you can get messages to legislators by calling the Message Center, 444-4800 (week days, 8-5), or by using the Online Message Form:
http://www.leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/64th/legwebmessage.asp

Thanks for your help!!

Best wishes,

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

Good news – two more bills move

Dear MSSA Friends,

SB 122, MSSA’s flagship bill to encourage the manufacture of ammunition components in Montana, has been passed by the Senate Tax Committee.  The bill was amended quite a bit by the committee to reduce the incentives for new manufacture, but we will likely be able to regain some lost ground if we can get this bill to the House.  Getting this bill approved by the Senate Tax Committee was probably the most difficult challenge existing for this bill.  It will face several other challenging steps (I predict eight) before becoming law, but the single most dangerous step for the bill is now behind us.  It will now go to the floor of the Senate for Second Reading.  You should contact your Senator and ask him or her to please support SB 122.

HB 203, MSSA’s bill to prevent state and local and state officials from enforcing any new federal firearms or magazine bans has passed the House on Second Reading, mostly on a party line vote.  This bill was also amended in committee to broaden the definitions of protected items, but also to weaken the enforcement section.  It’s still a major step in the right direction.  HB 203 will now advance to Third Reading in the House.  It is expected to pass Third Reading and move on to the Senate.

Don’t forget that MSSA has five great bills up for public hearing on Wednesday and Thursday of this coming week, all before the House Judiciary Committee which meets beginning at 8 AM.  See my previous email for details.  If you can come to Helena to support these bills, great.  If you can’t, be sure to get messages to Committee members in support of these bills.

Best wishes,

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

Sheriffs First passes committee

Dear MSSA Friends,

With amendments provided by MSSA, our Sheriffs First, HB 274, has passed the House Judiciary Committee.  It will now move to the House floor for consideration on Second Reading sometime next week.

In the public hearing, attending sheriffs objected to HB 274 primarily because of the workload if they had to review and approve every federal action in their county.  Sheriff Lindler of Yellowstone County testified that the US Marshals had arrested over 1,000 felons with outstanding warrants in Yellowstone County in the past year (the Billings Gazette is looking into that claim).  He said he simply doesn’t have the time to look at and approve or deny 1,000 arrest requests.

The amendments provided by MSSA and adopted by the Committee make implementation of Sheriffs First optional by any sheriff.  It would also make prosecution for non-compliance optional for County Attorneys, curing a complaint by county attorneys that the Legislature may not interfere with their "prosecutorial discretion."  These amendments negate nearly all objections to HB 274 by those few sheriffs and county attorneys who attended the public hearing and opposed HB the bill.

You should now contact your Representative (not Senator, yet) and ask him or her to please support HB 274.

Best wishes,

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

Five MSSA bills up next week

Dear MSSA Friends,

There are five MSSA bills scheduled for public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and Thursday of next week, February 11th and 12th.  The HJC meets at 8 AM in Room 137 of the State Capitol.  Here are the bills for each day:

Wednesday
HB 298 – Permitless carry.  Will allow concealed carry without a permit inside city limits by persons eligible to possess firearms, the same as it has been outside city limits in Montana for 24 years.

HB 320 – Guns on school grounds.  Will clarify that school boards have full authority over discipline of kids who forget a hunting rifle in a car in the school parking lot, and that federal law does NOT mandate an automatic one-year expulsion.

HB 371 – Prohibited places.  People with CWPs will be able to carry in a bunch of formerly prohibited places, including restaurants that have a liquor license, but not including genuine bars.

Thursday
HB 281 – Game wardens.  Will require that game wardens must comply with all the same requirements for arrest, search and seizure as deputy sheriffs, and will provide an affirmative defense of a trivial mistake for persons charged with violating game laws.

HB 388 – Fix Montana Supreme Court mistake.  The Legislature enacted 45-3-112 in 2009 at MSSA’s request, to require that in an alleged or apparent case of self defense police investigators must investigate ALL evidence, including evidence that might corroborate legitimate self defense.  The MSC held that 45-3-112 made no effective change in Montana law.  HB 388 clarifies the language to fix that MSC mistake.

If you can come to Helena to support these bills, that will be outstanding.  If so, please review my advice for testifying to a committee at:
http://progunleaders.org/Legislative%20Process/hearing.html

If you can’t get to Helena to support these bills, please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee via the Message Center, 444-4800, or the Online Message Form at:
http://leg.mt.gov/css/About-the-Legislature/Lawmaking-Process/contact-legislators.asp#email

Ask Committee members to please support these bills.

Thanks loads for your ongoing help.  YOUR PARTICIPATION IS CRITICAL!

Best wishes,

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

YES, WE DID IT, SB 143 passes Senate

Dear MSSA Friends,

The Montana Senate just voted 26-24 to pass SB 143, Campus Carry, on Third Reading.

SB 143 now moves on to the House.  Stay tuned.

Also, watch for another email soon about five MSSA bills scheduled for public hearings in two days next week.

Thanks loads for your help with SB 143.

Best wishes,

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

First legislative emergency – ACTION NEEDED IMMEDIATELY

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA’s campus carry bill, SB 143, squeaked by in the Senate today on Second Reading with a 25-24 vote.  It could die tomorrow on Third Reading unless we act energetically.

In today’s vote, five Republicans joined with Democrats to oppose SB 143, and one Republican was excused.  We want all six of these Republicans to support SB 143 on Third Reading tomorrow.  These six Republicans need messages from you and all of your friends, asking them to please support SB 143 on Third Reading.  These six Republicans are:

Duane Ankney
Taylor Brown
Edward Buttrey
Pat Connell
Llew Jones
Bruce Tutvedt

BE POLITE!  Be firm.  It will be enough in your message to just say, "Please support SB 143 on Third Reading."

You can leave a message by calling the Legislative Message Center at 444-4800 during working hours, or via the Online Message Form on the Legislature’s Website at:
http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/64th/legwebmessage.asp

Again, please ACT NOW, and get all your friends to weigh in too.

Thanks loads!

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

Another MSSA bill introduced

Dear MSSA Friends,

Rep. Randy Pinocci has introduced HB 388, to fix a problem created by the Montana Supreme Court.  HB 388 is currently available at:
http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2015/lchtml/LC1012.htm
but will probably soon be at:
http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2015/billhtml/HB0388.htm

In 2009, in MSSA’s landmark Self Defense Bill, one provision required that when there is an incident where self defense is apparent or claimed, investigators have a duty to gather all evidence, INCLUDING evidence that could exonerate a defender accused of a crime.  The problem is that when police investigate such a situation, their mind-set is that some crime has been committed and they focus only on collecting evidence to prove criminal guilt.

A criminal case with a messy set of facts came before the Montana Supreme Court in which this law created in 2009 was in play.  Notwithstanding a well-established principle of jurisprudence that the legislature does no idle acts – enacts no laws that are without effect -, the MSC ruled that this 2009 law was without effect, made no change in law, and that police could ignore it.

HB 388 clarifies that 2009 law with new language that even the MSC cannot misunderstand.  It will be assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, but no public hearing is scheduled yet.

HEARINGS UPCOMING.  A bunch of MSSA’s bills will almost certainly be scheduled for public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in one or two days next week.  I’ll let you know as soon as I have information about schedule.

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

HB 274 – Sheriffs First – public hearing 1/30

 

Please try to get to Helena to support this Bill. If you can’t get to Helena on Friday, send a message to the House Judiciary Committee Members in support of HB 274 via the Legislative online message system: http://www.leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/64th/legwebmessage.asp

Dear MSSA Friends,
MSSA’s “Sheriffs First” bill, HB 274, has been scheduled for a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, January 30th, at 8AM.

 

HB 274 would require that federal officers operating in Montana to get the advanced written permission of the elected county sheriff before effecting an arrest, search, or seizure.  There are exceptions built into the bill for federal activities along the US border, for federal enclaves such as military reservations, for “hot pursuit” across the state line, if a federal officer witnesses a crime that requires immediate action, or if the sheriff is the target of the federal action.

The purpose of Sheriffs First is to put the local sheriff in the driver’s seat for federal actions such as what happened with the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, and with the Weaver family in Ruby Ridge, Idaho.  The elected county sheriff has local knowledge about local people and circumstances.  He is the chief law enforcement officer in the county, accountable locally, and can best determine how law enforcement operations should be conducted in his county.

You can find bill text, MSSA notes and current status of this, and all other MSSA bills here: https://www.mtssa.org/?page_id=188

If you can get to Helena to support HB 274 in its public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, that would be great.  Please see or review my coaching about how to best appear and present at a legislative public hearing at:
http://progunleaders.org/Legislative%20Process/hearing.html

If you can’t come to Helena to appear before the Committee, please send messages to Committee members.  Again, you can send one message to all committee members at one time via the Online legislative message form at:
http://www.leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/64th/legwebmessage.asp

Again, be BRIEF.  Legislators are so very swamped with material to read (they speak of it as “drinking from a fire hose”) that they simply don’t have time to and won’t read a long message.  One short paragraph would be good.  Just saying “Please support HB 274” would be sufficient.

Thanks for supporting HB 274 and for supporting other MSSA bills.  Your support IS IMPORTANT!!!

I am posting this email and other emails about MSSA bills working in Helena at mtssa.org for your reference.  Also, friend Elisa is doing a great job of maintaining a page with information about all MSSA bills at:
https://www.mtssa.org/?page_id=158

Best wishes,

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