Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA’s Senate Joint Resolution 11 (SJ 11) passed the House Second Reading today (4/21) by a vote of 58-42.  It is scheduled to advance to Third Reading tomorrow, when I expect this vote to hold.

Assuming it will pass Third Reading tomorrow, SJ 11 will then be a done deal.  It has already passed the Senate, and, because it’s a joint resolution, it does NOT go to Governor Bullock (which is exactly why I crafted it as a resolution).

You may remember that SJ 11 defines a phrase in the Montana Constitution that has never before had an authoritative definition.  That is the phrase by which our Right to Keep or Bear Arms is secured when the Constitution says that this cherished right shall not be “called in question.”

What does “called in question” mean?  Nobody knows for sure, at least not in a strict legal sense.  That’s why SJ 11.  SJ 11 gets out in front of future legal decisions about this with a very strong definition and a high bar, and coming from the Montana Legislature for authority.

Twenty, 50, or 100 years from now, SJ 11 has the potential to be seen by a historical look back as the most significant and effective item ever gotten through the Legislature by MSSA.  Heck, it could even catch a political wave nationally as our original Montana Firearms Freedom Act did.  It also has the possibility of having no effect at all.  We’ll see.

At least, it will add one more to the 67 pro-gun measures that MSSA has gotten through the Legislature and into Montana law, not counting the many measures that MSSA has gotten through the Legislature only to have them vetoed by an anti-gun governor.

If you wish to read SJ 11, go to:

I’ve also written a fulsome explanation of the features of SJ 11, which explanation I introduced into the public record as testimony at the public hearings in Senate and House.  I did this so that this explanation will be present if the courts seek to dig into the “legislative history” and “legislative intent” of the measure in any future litigation.  You may read this explanation, if you wish, at:

So the good news is that we got at least one significant pro-gun measure through this session (assuming it passes House Third Reading tomorrow, as expected) notwithstanding veto-happy, anti-gun Governor Bullock.

Best wishes,
--   Gary Marbut, president  Montana Shooting Sports Association  Author, Gun Laws of Montana

By mssa