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:
but will probably soon be at:

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
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

By mssa