Target stores and customer guns


There’s been a lot of chatter in the media about Target’s recent announcement about armed customers.

Organizations supported by the $50 million former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to pursue gun control had pressured Target to ban guns.

Target’s net response to gun owners was a request – please carry discretely (concealed) when you come to Target.  This must be a disappointment to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg has recently de-emphasized his Illegal Mayors for Gun Control, in part since so many of the member mayors have gone to prison for one sort of corruption or another.  His money is now invested in Moms (for or against something) and Everytown (something or other).  It was Moms and Everytown that pressured Target, spurred by Bloomberg’s $ millions.  The result of that effort must have been a disappointment to Bloomberg, just like getting no traction with his Illegal Mayors.

When this issue was raised with Starbucks and employees asked, “What do we do if we see somebody with a gun,” Starbucks’ direction was, “Sell them coffee.”

The debate between open carry (OC) and discrete carry (concealed carry, DC) will continue.

Some argue that OC offends people so why OC?  Others respond that the ninnies who are offended by OC need to get a life or move back to New York (or wherever).  Some argue that DC allows a defender to inform an assailant that the defender is carrying at the time of the defender’s choosing – a tactical advantage, they say.  OC proponents say that a person OCing will likely be avoided by predators.  OC proponents also say the public needs to be desensitized to seeing law-abiding citizens wearing guns.

The OC/DC debate won’t be resolved here.  OC is legal in Montana, except in some federally-controlled places such as federal buildings, military installations, post offices, and behind security at airports, and except for places where prohibition of OC and DC is allowed under Montana law at 45-8-351, including schools, parks, publicly owned and occupied buildings, and “public assemblies.”

Some like Fords and some like Chevrolets.  Some like OC and some like DC.  Hey, that’s why we live in the Land of the Free.

Whatever you prefer, be polite and be safe.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

MSSA in the Primary Election

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA endorsed a total of 23 candidates in the Primary Election just held, and supported 18 of those by mailing 19,000 postcards to voters in contested districts.

Here’s how that turned out.

MSSA Endorsed Primary 2014 – 70% Success

Body/Name                District                  Win/Loss
Montana Senate
Mark Blasdel – Senate District 04                W
Kris Hansen – Senate District 14                 W
Tonya Shellnutt – Senate District 24             W
Cary Smith – Senate District 27          W
Joanne Blyton – Senate District 29               L
Jedediah Hinkle – Senate District 32             W
Marissa Stockton – Senate District 42   L
Scott Boulanger – Senate District 43             L (possible recount)

Montana House
Ronalee Skees – House District 07                L
Mike Hebert – House District 11          L
Ann Morren – House District 18           L
Ryan Osmundson – House District 30               W
Sarah Laszloffy – House District 53              W
Jeff Essmann – House District 54                 W
Seth Berglee – House District 58                 W
Debra Lamm – House District 60           W
Mike More – House District 65            W
Matthew Monforton – House District 69   W
Bob Wagner – House District 71           L
Mike Miller – House District 80          W
Theresa Manzella – House District 85    W
Edward Greef – House District 88                 W
Dan Salomon – House District 93          W

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

Interesting announcement – House District 94

Dear MSSA Friends,

Two years ago, I ponied up to be the Republican candidate for the Montana House of Representatives in House District 99 (where I live), even though I knew it would be a long shot because it was about a 70% Democrat district.  The election results were about what you’d expect for an R running in a 70% D district.

In this current election cycle, the redistricting commission has redrawn the district, as all Montana districts have been redrawn.  Where I live used to be in HD 99; the district is now HD 94.  It has gone from 70% D to about 55% D.  The incumbent elected last time, liberal lady lawyer Kimberly Dudik, filed to run in HD 94.  A Republican nobody had heard of filed to run against her.

Then, the Republican either withdrew or was taken off the ballot, depending on whose story you hear.  In any case, that left a free ride for Dudik – nobody else on the ballot in November.

Some people contacted me to seek my permission for them to collect signatures on petitions to place me on the November ballot as an Independent candidate.  I agreed to allow that, but warned them that I would probably not have the time and energy (too busy; too many birthdays) to run as aggressive a campaign as I did last time.

The signatures were collected and verified by the Missoula County Elections Office and the Secretary of State.  I’ve submitted the necessary paperwork and filing fee to the Secretary of State, and required initial forms to the Commissioner of Political Practices.

The Secretary of State’s office called me late this afternoon to inform me that all the “i”s were dotted and “t”s crossed and I WILL be on the ballot for HD 94 this November as an Independent candidate for HD 94.  (My mother as said that I need to have my head examined.  She may be right.)

Sooner or later, voters and the media will ask why I’m running as an Independent candidate.  My answer will be that in my long political experience I’ve seen far too many examples of where the existing major political parties put the welfare of the party ahead of the welfare of the people.  For example, I saw that when I ran as a Democrat in the early 1980s and the Democrat party informed me that if I was elected I’d be expected to vote in the Legislature how the Party told me to vote.  We agreed to disagree and the next week all of my campaign signs were destroyed.  I saw that when I was a delegate to the Montana Republican presidential nominating convention and the Republican insiders enforced a very unfair process to make sure candidate Ron Paul was shut out and did not get Montana delegates to the national nominating convention.

My chief interest is individual liberty, not the welfare or power of political parties.

I think an Independent candidate will play well in HD 94 in November.  The Republican voters won’t vote for a Dem, so they’ll vote for me.  By November, the unaligned voters, and even many traditional Democrats, should be sick of Obama and the Democrat Party.  They’ll be glad to see an independent on the ballot.  We’ll see.  It should be interesting.

So, there you have it.  I’ll get back to you when the dust settles from the Primary about fundraising for the campaign, and what you can do to help.  (For any of you absolutely champing at the bit to donate [campaigns cost money], I’ll include some info below.)

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana


I have opened a campaign account.  If you’re eager to get in on this, you could send a check made payable to “Marbut for House”, and mailed to:

Gary Marbut
P.O. Box 16106
Missoula, Montana 59808

The max any individual may contribute is $170.  A husband and wife may contribute $170 each, but it should be in two checks, just to keep it clean.

No checks drawn on the account of a corporation, please.  Business checks are okay, as long as the business is not a corporation.

For any checks of $35 or more, I am obligated to report the Name, Address, Occupation and Employer of the donor to the Commissioner of Political Practices.  If your name and address are on your check and your donation is $35 or more, please also write your occupation and employer in the Memo line or an included piece of paper.


MSSA political activity

Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA has a separate “Political Committee,” an entity designed to be able to legally receive money according to federal and state laws and rules, money that may then be used to support or oppose candidates or ballot issues.

You will be interested to know that the MSSA Political Committee yesterday sent 19,000 postcards to registered voters in 18 Montana legislative districts in support of candidates that MSSA has endorsed for the upcoming Primary Election.  If we can get these ardently pro-gun candidates elected, we’ll have an improved chance of getting pro-gun legislation through the 2015 Montana Legislature.

This involvement in elections is VERY IMPORTANT.  It lets candidates and legislators know that MSSA is a serious player in the political arena.  Because if this, we get much more traction in Helena than we would if we were not active in elections, evaluating, endorsing, and supporting candidates actively.

You won’t be surprised that we ran our MSSA Political Committee bank account down to near zero sending out these 19,000 postcards.

So, we’d love to have donations from you to MSSA PC to help rebuild this account for the November General Election.  If you can help, you may mail a check to:

P.O. Box 4924
Missoula, Montana 59806

Your check should be made payable to MSSA PC.

There are some rules:

No corporate checks:  Although lawsuits have changed this landscape, we prefer no checks drawn on the account of a corporation.  Personal checks please.

No limits; reporting info:  There is no limit to the size of the check you are allowed to write, ALTHOUGH if it is $35 or more, we MUST report your Name, Address, Occupation and Employer.  If your name and mail address is on your check, you can just write your occupation and employer in the memo blank.

Remember, MSSA is the most successful such entity in the U.S., and therefore probably in the World (they don’t have gun rights organizations at all in most countries).  Since MSSA’s founding, we’ve now gotten 64 pro-gun and pro-hunting bills enacted into Montana law.  For us to continue this level of success, we need your support for MSSA PC.

Thanks loads for whatever you can do.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

PA Reciprocity Problems

PA Reciprocity Problems

Our friends in Pennsylvania need our help.

Their Attorney General has taken it upon herself to ignore the statutory limits on her power and modify – and even cancel – longstanding reciprocity agreements with other states.  Recently she has made changes to the reciprocity agreements with Virginia, Florida, and Arizona, and she has canceled reciprocity agreements with Idaho and Utah.

I suspect that ex NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg or the Legal Center Against Violence – or whatever those rights-hating San Francisco lawyers are calling themselves this week – have been whispering in the AG’s ear and convinced her that she can get away with this BS.  If that’s the case, be on the lookout for similar actions in other states.

Right now, we need to put pressure on Pennsylvania politicians to rein in the AG and force her to respect the rights of Pennsylvanians and folks who would like to visit that state.

Please let the Governor know that you’re not happy about the situation.  This means that those of us wishing to visit PA are more likely to have problems carrying our personal defense arms.

Tourism is a major industry in Pennsylvania and that got a boost a few years ago when the National Park Service ban on lawful carry on NPS lands was lifted – opening up battlefield parks like Gettysburg to those of us who avoid going where we can’t go armed.  That is now being jeopardized by the extra-statutory actions of this rogue AG.

If you’ve ever considered visiting Pennsylvania, let the Governor know that those plans are on hold until such time as the PA AG stops threatening the rights of responsible, licensed, law-abiding visitors.

The Governor’s email address is:

Here is one note sent to him.  Please use it as a guide to send him a note of your own to let him know that his AG is costing his state business. You don’t have to say a lot, just let him know you’re not happy and you’re going to avoid

Dear Governor Corbett:

I’m very disappointed to learn that your Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, has chosen to exceed her statutory authority and modify or delete reciprocity agreements concerning the discreet carry of personal defense firearms.  My home state of Arizona and the state of Utah, where I have maintained a non-resident permit for a number of years, have been targeted.

While it is possible that I personally could legally carry my firearm in Pennsylvania – as I have been lawfully and responsibly doing for over three decades all over this country, I will not lend my support and tourist dollars to a state that is actively trying to infringe on my, and my fellow citizens’ rights.

I guess I’ll take my grandson to visit the Manassas and Fredericksburg, Virginia battlefields instead of Gettysburg this summer.  I’m also letting my friends know about this situation and encouraging them to suspend any planned visits to PA and to avoid doing business with PA-based businesses until this situation is resolved.

I hope you and the legislature will act quickly to bring this rogue politician into compliance with PA statutes and demonstrate that Pennsylvania still respects individual rights. 

Please let me know when your state is again open for business and tourism.

End of sample note.

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

CNN story finally out


The awaited CNN story for which I was interviewed is finally out.  See:

Comment for Rep. Ellie Hill:  She wishes to reverse the changes to the Montana “castle doctrine” (45-3-103 Defense of an occupied structure) from 2009 and return that to the language held over from the statutes of Montana’s territorial days.

Well, I have some good ideas for her for return to other Montana laws of the 1860s and 1870s.  For example, how about reverting also to the law that prohibits married women from selling property without the permission of their husbands?  How about the one that prohibits selling guns or liquor to Indians?  If Hill thinks the laws of Montana territorial days are so great, there are a bunch of others she should accept too.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

Help needed to combat academic “research” about guns

Dear MSSA Friends,

As you have learned, I don’t send out pitches for financial assistance.  I just don’t, for a variety of reasons.

However, I’m making an exception in this instance.  I’ve known John Lott for 30 years.  He’s the author of the authoritative book More Guns; Less Crime, wherein he proves that crime is reduced in states that enact “shall-issue” concealed carry laws.  John deserves whatever support you can afford.  Here’s the pitch:

Gun Grabbers Paying for Fake “Public Health” Studies
to Justify Banning Guns in an All-Out Info War

The courts have delivered a series of defeats to the gun control movement in recent years causing gun control lawyers to cry out for evidence that gun control works and needs to happen in the U.S.  Hearing their cries, Bloomberg, Soros and Obama have recently invested HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, paying academic scholars in major universities to produce fake academic studies that will “prove” we need gun control.
The problem for them is THE FACTS DO NOT SUPPORT GUN CONTROL, so these clever academics will have to COOK THE STUDIES to “prove” we need gun control.  It will take academics with great knowledge of statistics to be able to FIND THE TRICKS in these BOGUS academic studies.
This is why Dr. John R. Lott, economist and author of More Guns; Less Crime, and Board Members Ted Nugent (musician) and Brad Thor (NYT Best-Selling Author), announce the formation of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) to EXPOSE AND CRUSH THESE FAKE STUDIES.  CPRC is the ONLY organization of this kind!
Dr. Lott is the best person for the job.  In Forbes, Milton Friedman was quoted as saying, “John Lott has few equals as a perceptive analyst of controversial public policy issues.” Ted Nugent says, “John Lott is my academic hero.” Sean Hannity remarks on one of Lott’s books, “If you want the truth the anti-gunners don’t want you to know… you need a copy of The Bias Against Guns.”
Dr. Lott needs you to help fund this organization to hire staff and cover the costs of getting CPRC analysis out to the public.
Receive Founding Member Status by donating $50 or more today, CLICK HERE TO DONATE and choose a perk!  For every dollar you give, we get a matching dollar from a generous donor up to $200,000

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

Congressional and Legislative candidate grades and endorsements

(for immediate release – April 30, 2014)

MSSA issues legislative endorsements for Primary Election
and Grades for Congressional Candidates

MISSOULA – The Montana Shooting Sports Association today announced its endorsement of 23 legislative candidates for the June, 2014, Primary Election.  Endorsements have been made only in races with contested primaries, and only in those races where a candidate clearly superior for gun owners and hunters can be identified.

MSSA has recommended candidates in contested races where information on issues significant to gun owners issues is available.  This usually includes voting records for incumbents, and returned candidate surveys for candidates for open seats or candidates challenging incumbents.

MSSA is the primary political advocate for gun owners and hunters in Montana, having gotten 64 pro-gun and pro-hunting measures through the Montana Legislature in the past 30 years.

Legislative Candidates

The candidates endorsed for the June, 2014 Primary Election include:

Montana Senate
Mark Blasdel – Senate District 04
Kris Hansen – Senate District 14
Tonya Shellnutt – Senate District 24
Cary Smith – Senate District 27
Joanne Blyton – Senate District 29
Jedediah Hinkle – Senate District 32
Marissa Stockton – Senate District 42
Scott Boulanger – Senate District 43

Montana House
Ronalee Skees – House District 07
Mike Hebert – House District 11
Ann Morren – House district 18
Ryan Osmundson – House District 30
Sarah Laszloffy – House District 53
Jeff Essmann – House District 54
Seth Berglee – House District 58
Debra Lamm – House District 60
Mike More – House District 65
Matthew Monforton – House District 69
Bob Wagner – House District 71
Mike Miller – House District 80
Theresa Manzella – House District 85
Edward Greef – House District 88
Dan Salomon – House District 93


Congressional Candidates

Note:  The grades below are derived from everything MSSA knows about the candidates.  MSSA FAR prefers to have a candidate’s voting record, than a response to MSSA’s Candidate Questionnaire.  It’s too easy for a candidate to espouse one position on a Candidate Questionnaire and then vote differently.  MSSA believes voting records are the most reliable measure of a candidate’s affinity for issues of interest to MSSA, its members, and Montana gun owners.  Some candidates have no voting record and also declined to return MSSA’s Candidate Questionnaire.  MSSA scores these candidates with a “?” and views them as hiding anti-gun sentiments.

Only candidates with in a contested Primary Election are graded for the Primary.

U.S. Senate
Democrat Primary
Name                      Grade    Basis
Dirk Adams               D        Candidate questionnaire
John Bohlinger  C-       Voting record
John Walsh               ?        No information

Republican Primary
Susan Cundiff   ?        No information
Steve Daines             A-       Candidate questionnaire
Champ Edmunds   A        Voting record – 100% + CQ

U.S. House of Representatives
Name                      Grade    Basis
Democrat Primary
John Driscoll            ?        No information
John Lewis               ?        No information

Republican Primary
Elsie Arntzen            A+       Voting record – 100% + CQ
Matt Rosendale  A        Voting record – 100% + CQ
Corey Stapelton A        Voting record – 100% + CQ
Drew Turiano             B        Candidate questionnaire
Ryan Zinke               B        Voting record – 85%

All endorsed candidates were sent a copy of the endorsement letter attached below.

 – 30 –

Information: contact MSSA president Gary Marbut at 549-1252 or at

(Legislative candidates’ endorsement letter, printed on MSSA letterhead)

April 18, 2014

City, State Zip

Dear Name,

I am pleased to inform you that you are endorsed by the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) in your bid to be nominated as the legislative candidate for (District) in the June, 2014 Primary Election.

MSSA is the primary organization asserting the right to keep and bear arms and the rights and prerogatives of hunters in Montana.  You will be aware that we routinely obtain passage of pro-gun and pro-hunting legislation by the Legislature.

You have been endorsed by MSSA because you are clearly the best candidate in your Primary Election contest to represent gun owners and hunters.  We highly recommend you to the voters of your election district in the Primary Election.  We think the right to keep and bear arms and hunting are important.  Those voters in Montana who agree with us about this important right should know that you will certainly be the best of the Primary Election candidates in your party to represent our shared convictions.

We believe it is important to elect people to public office in Montana who believe in the rights reserved to the people by our constitutions, state and federal, and especially our right to keep and bear arms, and who believe in our cherished heritage and culture of hunting game animals.

We will review this race separately for potential endorsements for the November General Election.

We wish you the best for your Primary Election challenge.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Marbut

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana