Archive for the ‘Montana Policy Center’ Category

Ninth Circuit Rules in Firearms Freedom Act Case

August 28, 2013 1 comment

(August 23, 2013 – for immediate release)

Ninth Circuit Rules in Firearms Freedom Act Case

MISSOULA, MONT. – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released its opinion today in MSSA v. Holder, the lawsuit brought in federal court to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA).  The MFFA was enacted by the Montana Legislature and signed into law by then Governor Brian Schweitzer in 2009.  The MFFA declares that any firearms made and retained in Montana are not subject to any federal regulation under the power given to Congress in the U.S. Constitution to “regulate commerce … among the states.”  The MFFA uses firearms as a vehicle to challenge federal commerce clause power.

Plaintiffs in MSSA v. Holder are the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA), the Second Amendment Foundation, and Gary Marbut, President of MSSA.  To set up the legal challenge, Marbut determined to manufacture a youth-model, .22 caliber, bolt-action rifle called the “Montana Buckaroo.”  The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms informed Marbut that any such unlicensed manufacture would be illegal under federal law.

Despite Marbut’s BATF-prohibited plans to make the Montana Buckaroo, the federal District Court ruled that the plaintiffs lacked “standing” to bring the lawsuit, and dismissed the lawsuit.  MSSA appealed this dismissal to the Ninth Circuit.

In its long-awaited ruling today, the Ninth Circuit reversed the federal District Court on the standing issue, saying that Marbut has standing to bring the challenge, but held that existing Supreme Court precedent was against plaintiffs on the merits of the lawsuit.

Marbut commented, “This was about as good of a ruling as we could have expected from the Ninth Circuit.  We must get to the U.S. Supreme Court to accomplish our goal of overturning 70 years of flawed Supreme Court rulings on the interstate commerce clause.  We knew that the Ninth Circuit couldn’t help us with that.  Only the Supreme Court can overturn Supreme Court precedent.  However, now that the standing question is resolved in our favor, we have the green light to appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Marbut says the attorneys involved are already beginning to work on the appeal process.

Marbut continued, “The time is ripe in America for states to challenge federal power, from Obamacare to indefinite detention, to illegal spying on U.S. Citizens and media, to IRS abuses of power, and more.  It was the states which created this federal government that has grown to become such a monster.  It’s time for the states to get their creature back on a leash.  With MSSA v. Holder, we will offer the Supreme Court a chance to do just that.”

Since the MFFA was initially enacted in Montana in 2009, nine other states have enacted clones of the MFFA, and 20-some additional states have introduced MFFA-clone bills.  The lawsuit to validate the MFFA principles, MSSA v. Holder, has attracted many intervenors and amicus curiae parties.  These include the State of Montana, the attorneys general of eight other states, Montana legislators, legislators from other states, the Goldwater Institute, Gun Owners Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, the CATO Institute, the Weapons Collectors Society of Montana, the Pacific Legal Foundation, and others.

More information about the Firearms Freedom Act movement and lawsuit is available at:

Information:  Gary Marbut, 406-549-1252

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

Montana Gun Control Nullification Bill Going to the Governor’s Desk



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HELENA, Mont. (March 20, 2013) – The Montana House today concurred with the State Senate on a a bill prohibiting state compliance with any federal attempt to enforce a ban semiautomatic firearms or high capacity magazines  in Montana.  The vote was 62-35.

The House previously approved HB302 by a vote of 56-42.  And last week the Senate approved with with an amendment, 28-21.  The House had the option of approving the amended version of the bill or sending the original back to the Senate.  Inside sources indicated that the Senate was prepared to vote down the original bill which would have included a provision dictating to the county attorneys of the state how to handle violations of the act.

If signed by Governor Bullock, HB302 will prohibit “a peace officer, state employee, or employee of any political subdivision is prohibited from enforcing, assisting in the enforcement of, or otherwise cooperating in the enforcement of a federal ban on semiautomatic weapons or large magazines and is also prohibited from participating in any federal enforcement action implementing a federal ban on semiautomatic weapons or large magazines.”

The law also prohibits expenditure of public funds for the purpose of enforcing a federal gun ban. Any state agent working with the feds would be guilty of official misconduct.  Any use of public funds to assist the federal government would be considered “public theft.”

An employee of the state or any political subdivision may not expend public funds or allocate public resources for the enforcement of a federal ban on semiautomatic weapons or large magazines. Any expenditure of public funds or public resources, including paying the salaries of personnel, to enforce or participate in the enforcement of a federal ban on semiautomatic weapons or large magazines is an unauthorized use of public resources and is considered theft as provided in 45-6-301.

The so-called ‘war on drugs’ illustrates federal dependency on the support of  state agencies in enforcing its laws. Federal agencies almost always act in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. In many situations, federal agents have absolutely no way to carry out enforcement without massive state and local support.  If a large number of states simply refuse to cooperate with federal gun bans, it will effectively nullify the law.  Without state compliance and assistance, many unconstitutional federal acts are little more than a house of cards. Refusing compliance on a state or local level is a big deal – and it sets the stage for others to do the same.

Earlier this week, Judge Andrew Napolitano supported this position when on Fox News he said that state noncompliance with federal gun control would make it “nearly impossible” to enforce.

“We saw the power of non-compliance in the 1850s, ” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. “Northern states passed personal liberty laws and flat out refused to cooperate with federal agents trying to return accused runaway slaves south. They denied use of their jails and facilities and in some cases criminalized state cooperation – just like the Montana bill. It was so effective, South Carolina and Mississippi listed northern nullification of the Fugitive Slave Act as a cause for secession.”

More than two dozen states have introduced legislation to nullify federal gun “laws.” – and Montana is leading the way as the first state where both houses have approved such a bill.

ACTION ITEMS for Montana

1.  Call Governor Steve Bullock.    A phone call will have far more effect than an email.  Let him know that you want him to SIGN HB302 when it reaches his desk.  Strongly, but very politely, make sure he knows that you want him to do the right thing – principle not party – and make sure that Montana will not be a part of unconstitutional federal bans.


link to contact form here:

2.  Encourage your local community to take action as well.  Present the even broader 2nd Amendment Preservation Act to your city county, your town council, or your county commissioners.  Various local governments around the country are already passing similar resolutions and ordinances.  Local legislative action present a great way to strengthen a statewide campaign against violations of the 2nd Amendment

Model legislation here:


If you would like to see model legislation to introduce in your state or local community to nullify federal firearm laws, please see The Tenth Amendment Center’s Model Legislation: The 2nd Amendment Preservation Act.

Track the status of 2nd Amendment preservation legislation in states around the country HERE.



Can Feds Bulldoze State Constitutional Protections?

L to R Nick Dranias, attorney for Goldwater Institute; Gary Marbut; Quentin Rhoades, attorney for Marbut, MSSA

In a courtroom gun fight that has the potential to disrupt many of Barack Obama’s plans for national gun lists, laws and limits, attorneys have told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the U.S. Constitution does not give Washington unlimited authority to bulldoze over state efforts to protect the constitutional rights of their citizens.

At issue is the years-old Montana Firearms Freedom Act, which was argued before the appeals court in a special session in Portland, Ore.

The law simply says firearms made, sold and kept in Montana are not subject to federal interstate commerce regulations.

Attorney Nick Dranias, who represented the amicus parties of the Goldwater Institute and others in the arguments, said the case should be returned to the lower court for discovery and development of evidence, because it is a case of first impression and the lower courts dismissed it without that opportunity.

He asked the judges to remember that the federal government was created by the states and that the states granted certain limited powers to the federal government. Where those rights were not granted to Washington, the states’ people retain all rights….


Montana House Votes to Nullify NDAA Indefinite Detention

NOTE: After initially reporting a vote of 97-1, the Montana legislature has updated the vote count to 98-0

After passing out of committee by a unanimous vote last week, the full Montana State House approved House Bill 522 (HB522) and moved the bill on to the State Senate. The vote was 97-1.

A modified version of the Liberty Preservation Act released by the Tenth Amendment Center, Montana joins a growing choir of states and localities who’ve decided that waiting for federal politicians to repeal their own power is something they’re not willing to risk.

The bill was sponsored by State Representative Nicholas Schwaderer who worked hard behind the scenes to get a bipartisan group of legislators to cosponsor – 18 republicans and 6 democrats. In presenting the bill on its 2nd reading yesterday, Schwaderer said his motivation to introduce the bill was to get something done, and not just make a statement.

“I thought, how can we deal with this and not have it be some kind of letter to Santa Claus?”

He also noted that the bill brought together a wide coalition of support from around the political spectrum.

This bill has the coolest spread of sponsors signed on. A lot of people support of the bill that would be opposing each other. I urge a big ole green on this one!

If signed into law, HB522 would make it illegal for Montana to participate in NDAA indefinite detention: “The state of Montana may not provide material support or participate with the implementation of sections 1021 and 1022 of the federal National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Public Law 112-81, within the boundaries of this state”

Noncompliance with federal law is 100% noncontroversial both legally and constitutionally. There’s absolutely ZERO serious thought that supports the idea that the federal government has the constitutional authority to require state agents to enforce federal laws. Even the Supreme Court has affirmed this more than once in recent history. Statements to the contrary are absurd.

Such noncompliance on a wide scale is very effective in rendering an unconstitutional federal act null, void or just unenforceable. Learn how this method plays out and works HERE.

ACTION STEPS for Montana

Next up for HB522 is to be assigned to a committee for consideration in the State Senate. Bills move fast in the short legislative session, so your support is needed right now.

1. Contact your state senator. Strongly, but respectfully, urge him or her to vote YES on HB522. Let them know that you see “indefinite detention” as a direct attack on your liberty and on the Constitution.

Find your state senator here:

2. Encourage your local community to take action as well. Present the Liberty Preservation Act to your city county, your town council, or your county commissioners. Various local governments around the country are already passing similar resolutions and ordinances. Local legislative action present a great way to strengthen a statewide campaign against NDAA indefinite detention

Model legislation here:

3. Join the Nullify NDAA group on Facebook. Interact and work with like-minded people. Report back with any feedback you get from your state representative and more.


If you live anywhere outside of Montana, please contact your own legislators regarding anti-NDAA legislation. If none has been introduced in your state, you can email them The Liberty Preservation Act model legislation.

Track the status of NDAA nullification in states around the country HERE


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February 24, 2013 2 comments

By a vote of 20-0, a bill that bans cooperation with federal agents over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has just passed the Montana House Judiciary Committee. Known as HB 522, the bill would also require the state’s attorney general to report any attempts by federal officials who try to enforce the NDAA. HB 522 is now one step closer to becoming law.


Montana Legislative Roundup – Second Amendment Issues – Feb. 21, 2013

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment

The following is an email received from our Friend, Gary Marbut, which lists  current 2A legislation moving through the Montana legislature.  If you live in Montana, please take some time to make calls, write emails and meet with your representatives to ensure they are following their oath to defend out Constitutional rights and to discuss with them why they should support these bills.  If you have the means, please donate what you can to Mr. Marbut and the Montana Shooting Sports AssociationHe works so hard fighting for the rights of Montanans and for ALL Americans. 


Dear MSSA Friends,

Time to crank up the emails, messages, phones and faxes.

Two important bills are up for Second Reading before the Montana House tomorrow (Friday, 2/21):

HB 240 University system may not deny constitutional rights (campus carry)
HB 358 Exempting CWP-holders from “prohibited places”

PLEASE get messages (email, legislative message form, phone, fax) to all the House members you can in support of these bills.  Your message should be very short, something like, “Please support HBXXX.  It is supported by the NRA and MSSA (and in the case of HB 240, for Republicans, is in the Party Platform).”

This is crunch time for these two bills.

MSSA’s bill to encourage the manufacture of smokeless powder, primers and cartridge brass (HB 468) had a hearing before the House Taxation Committee today.  Mixed reviews.  The most key person in this Committee may be Rep. Kelly Flynn (R-Townsend).  It would be VERY helpful to get messages to the House Tax Committee members (especially Flynn) asking them to support HB 468.

I flubbed one.  I didn’t get notified and missed that there were four of our gun bills up on the House floor for Second Reading today.  Fortunately, they all passed.  the bills and votes were:

HB 205 – Suppressors 62/38
HB 302 – Prohibit local enforcement of new fed gun control 55/44
HB 304 – Permitless carry 60/40
HB 446 – Fixing Disorderly Conduct (“firing firearms”) 61/38

Plus, I was able to pull a rabbit out of a hat today to get our “Safe travel to work” bill introduced, now HB 571.  This bill clarifies that an employee’s property right in his or her vehicle prevents an employer from making it a termination offense for the employee to have a firearm locked in the employee’s vehicle in the employer’s parking lot.  There will be a public hearing on HB 571, probably before the House Judiciary Committee, probably on next Monday.  Stay tuned on this …

We are near the legislative “transmittal” date, February 29th, the date by which all House bills must be transmitted to the Senate, and Senate bills to the House.  Any bills which don’t make “Transmittal” are lost.  There is a later deadline for tax and revenue measures.  So, we have a little time to try to resurrect our bill to exempt shooting ranges from property tax (HB 223), and to work the powder/primer manufacturing bill (HB 468).

PLEASE contact House members about HB 240 and HB 358, up for Second Reading tomorrow.  Also, please contact House Tax Committee members about HB 468, the bill to encourage the manufacture of ammunition components in Montana.

Thanks loads,

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


Montana Closer To Declaring Sheriffs Supreme

February 16, 2013 2 comments

TWG: You can learn more about “Sheriff’s First” efforts here:


Montana moved a step closer Friday to declaring that local sheriffs are the supreme law of the land and trying to nullify any federal crackdown on assault rifles.

The measures were among a slate of gun rights bills that cleared the Legislature’s House Judiciary Committee and now head to the House floor.

Other measures that advanced would let college students bring guns on campus, allow high school students to leave guns locked in their cars, and clear the way for nearly anyone to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Several of the bills met with staunch opposition from Democrats.

The so-called “sheriffs first” bill says federal agents must get a sheriff’s permission before making arrests or serving warrants — or risk local kidnapping or trespassing charges.

If the bill clears the Republican-controlled House and Senate, it would go directly to voters in 2014. The direct referendum would avoid the potential veto pen of Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat.

Supporters said it is a necessary check on the power of federal law enforcement agencies,

The measure was opposed earlier in the week at a hearing by local law enforcement agencies, and critics have said such a measure most certainly would face a legal challenge.

Opponents, led by Democrats, warned it would threaten the effectiveness of cooperative task forces tracking violent crime and drugs.

“To call the sheriffs in our state the supreme law of the land, I find that absurd,” said Rep. Ellie Hill, D-Missoula. “What is the message we are sending to Montana and the rest of the nation?”

Another bill that cleared committee would bar police from enforcing any federal bans on assault rifles or high-capacity clips. Supporters said it’s necessary to protect gun rights in Montana.

Opponents, who called it an extreme piece of legislation, argued the bill also violates the U.S. Constitution granting the federal government supremacy in such matters.

The panel also advanced a measure allowing the use of silencers while hunting big game, and removing the potential penalty of disturbing the peace for the discharge of a firearm.

Below is a letter from Gary Marbut, Founder and President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, dated January 8, 2013, which lists bills introduced and an explanation of each bill. 
Dear MSSA Friends,

The Montana 2013 legislative Session if fast approaching, and once again
MSSA has an aggressive agenda of pro-gun and pro-hunting bills to
introduce and get passed.


The items on MSSA’s Legislative Agenda are pasted below. Please study
them so you are familiar with them. Please redistribute this email to
all your pro-gun friends.

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana



1. Harmonizing concealed weapon permit (CWP) requirements. Since 1991, a
CWP has not been required for a law-abiding person to carry a concealed
weapon in 99.4% of Montana – outside the limits of cities or towns. With
over a decade of experience that not requiring CWPs for nearly all of
Montana has not created any problems, we propose a bill to harmonize the
law so a permit will no longer be required for a law abiding person to
carry a concealed weapon in the remaining small part of Montana, inside
cities and towns. We intend to leave the permitting process in place, so
citizens who desire them may still obtain CWPs for travel to other
states that recognize Montana CWPs, and for firearm purchases at gun
stores under the federal Brady Law. This change would exclude criminals
from applicability – it would still be illegal for criminals to carry
concealed weapons. It would also close a dump truck-sized loophole in
existing law that allows people to carry firearms openly in the
“prohibited places” of bars, banks and public buildings, but would
exempt law enforcement personnel and actual CWP-holders from “prohibited
places” restrictions.

2. Smokeless powder and primer production. There is a serious threat to
our right to bear arms because of narrow, monolithic and
federally-controlled manufacture of essential ammunition components,
smokeless powder (propellant), primers and cartridge brass. For example,
there are only two manufacturers of smokeless powder in the U.S., one
plant owned by defense contractor General Dynamics and another owned by
defense contractor Alliant Systems (ATK). All other smokeless powder
used in the U.S. is imported, and subject to immediate and arbitrary
import restrictions. And, General Dynamics and Alliant Systems are
subject to a standard condition of military contracts that 100% of their
production may be commandeered for military use at any time. Without
ammunition, our firearms and our right to bear ammunition are worth
nothing. We propose certain incentives to encourage small-scale
production of ammunition components in Montana. That model includes
offering liability protection to future producers, providing that such
producers qualify for existing state assistance with financing, and will
include a 20-year tax amnesty from start of business, which would give
up zero current tax income to the state but would provide jobs for Montana.

3. Shooting range funding. Montana began using some hunter license money
to make matching grants to develop shooting ranges in 1989. The program
to build safe and suitable places for Montana people to shoot was put
into state law in 1999, as the Shooting Range Development Program
(SRDP). The funds for this program are approved each legislative session
in the appropriations process for the Department of Fish, Wildlife and
Parks budget. There are no general tax revenues used for this program,
only the money hunters pay for licenses. The 2007 Legislature
appropriated $1,000,000 for the SRDP. $600,000 was appropriated in 2009,
and about $650,000 in 2011. We ask that $1,000,000 be appropriated to
the SRDP in the 2013 legislative session, regardless of any FWP
opposition to that level of funding.

4. Overreaction to firearms locked in student vehicles in school parking
lots. An underreported tragedy in Montana is the number of students who
have been disciplined, many expelled, for forgetting that their hunting
rifle was locked in their vehicle, usually from a weekend hunt. When
such a condition occurs in a school parking lot, ill-informed
administrators universally tell reviewing school boards that they have
no choice but to expel offending students because of compelling federal
law. However, unknown to these poorly-informed (or perhaps over-paid)
administrators, federal law on the subject specifically excludes from
consideration any firearm locked in a vehicle in a school parking lot.
About 450 Montana high school students have been expelled, and had their
academic aspirations ruined for life, over this issue. We propose a bill
to clarify for uninformed administrators and misinformed school boards
that firearms locked in a student vehicle does not mandate expulsion.
This bill would NOT deprive school boards of tools to deal with genuine
safety problems, but would clarify that firearms locked in vehicles do
NOT MANDATE student expulsion.

5. Allow safe travel to work and employee property right inside private
vehicles. Employees have a property right to what they choose to carry
in their vehicles, whether Bibles, newspapers, or firearms. Employees
also have a constitutional right to be equipped to provide for their own
personal protection when traveling to and from work. However, many
private employers have made it a termination offense for an employee to
have a firearm locked in the employee’s vehicle if that vehicle is
parked in a company parking lot. Such employers assume no responsibility
for employee safety during travel to and from work. We propose that
employers be prohibited from firing employees only because that employee
has a firearm locked in a privately owned vehicle in a company parking
lot. This bill would require that any such firearms also be out of sight
from outside the vehicle.

6. Self defense legal costs. A few prosecutors use the tactic of
“throwing the book” at persons accused in order to make legal defense
costs so unaffordable that the accused has no choice but to plead guilty
to some prosecutor-approved charges. We propose that, in cases where
self defense is alleged, prosecutors must pay the legal defense costs
associated with any charges that are dropped, dismissed, or for which
the accused is found not guilty.

7. Disorderly conduct – fixing bad law. The existing disorderly conduct
statute in Montana is badly written because it makes it a potential
crime for a person to discharge a firearm, except at an established
shooting range. While inappropriate prosecutions under this existing law
have not been a problem in Montana, it is susceptible to abuse and
should be repaired. Besides, a person could lose their constitutional
right to keep and bear arms for life if convicted of this perceived “gun
crime.” This bill would simply strike the offense of firing firearms
from the disorderly conduct statute.

8. Sheriffs First – Law Enforcement Cooperation. Many Montanans, both
citizens and people in public office, are concerned about the lack of
accountability of federal officers conducting law enforcement operations
in Montana. In Montana, we know the county sheriff and he is elected and
accountable locally. We believe the sheriff is the chief law enforcement
officer in the county, and ought to have the tools to implement that
status. MSSA will offer a bill to require federal officers to obtain the
written permission of the local sheriff before conducting an arrest,
search, or seizure in the sheriff’s county. There are exceptions for
federal reservations, Border Patrol, Immigration and Naturalization
Service, close pursuit, when a federal officer witnesses a crime that
requires an immediate response, if the sheriff or his personnel are
under investigation, and other necessary exceptions. This bill was
passed by the Legislature in 1995, but was vetoed by the Governor.

[TWG: Here’s a document written by Mr. Marbut which addresses the “Accusations” with very succinct “Answers” regarding the  Sheriff’s First Legislation:
You can learn more about “Sheriff’s First” efforts here:

9. When police may take firearms and how long they may keep them. There
are no clear directions to law enforcement in current Montana law about
under what circumstances law enforcement officers may disarm citizens,
and how long they may keep guns taken. This leaves it up to the
discretion of individual officers to make this call. A few officers
abuse this discretion by insisting on disarming every armed citizen they
encounter – treating citizens like criminals. The right to bear arms the
people have reserved to themselves at Article II, Section 12 of the
Montana Constitution does NOT say “except when in the presence of a law
enforcement officer.” Rather, the Constitution says the right to bear
arms “shall not be called into question …” We propose legislation to
establish some clear but workable rules for under what circumstances and
for how long law enforcement officers may disarm citizens.

10. University system gun bans. The people of Montana have reserved from
government interference the right to keep or bear arms in the Montana
Constitution. The Montana university system is a government entity. The
Montana Constitution gives the Board of Regents broad authority to
manage the affairs of the U. system, but it gives the Board NO authority
whatsoever to suspend, amend or abolish the Constitution and the rights
the people have reserved to themselves from government interference. We
propose a bill that withdraws all authority from the Board of Regents to
restrict firearms on U. system campuses, and then gives back to the U.
system narrowly-tailored authority to adopt certain restrictions that
are sensible and also defensible under recent federal (Heller and
McDonald) and state (Colorado, Oregon and Utah) court cases.

11. Suppressors illegal for poaching. Firearm suppressors do not
“silence” firearms, but suppress somewhat the noise of the muzzle blast.
They do nothing to attenuate the loud crack of the sonic boom as a
bullet breaks the sound barrier all along its flight path. Currently,
firearm suppressors are illegal for hunting. FWP argues this is
necessary for them to be able to catch criminals who poach. We propose a
bill to make use of suppressors illegal for poaching only, but not for
general hunting. Some argue that use of suppressors for hunting is not
“fair chase,” because the hunted animal would not hear the muzzle blast
from a hunter’s rifle. This argument ignores physics – that a rifle
bullet arrives before the sound of the muzzle blast because the bullet
flies faster than the speed of sound. It ignores that a missed shot will
startle the game animal with the nearby sonic boom before any sound of
muzzle blast arrives. Finally, it ignores the common acceptance of “fair
chase” hunting with absolutely silent arrows during archery season.

12. Controlling wolves. Federally-fostered wolves have become a serious
problem in Montana. They are decimating Montana’s valuable herds of
huntable game, killing or impacting an unacceptable amount of livestock
in Montana’s already stressed agricultural community, and are carrying
diseases that may cause serious human and livestock health problems. We
propose again a bill for Montana to take a much more aggressive posture
in managing and controlling wolves.

13. Revise fish and game enforcement laws. Montana game laws are very
different in their application and enforcement than similar criminal
laws in Montana. We propose to adjust Montana fish and game laws so they
conform generally to the standards applied in all other criminal matters
in Montana.

14. Concealed weapon permit list private. Montana people have reserved
the right to privacy to themselves in the Montana Constitution.
Notwithstanding this restriction, the Montana Department of Justice has
been releasing the names of about 30,000 Montanans who hold or have held
concealed weapon permits. This release includes to the Billings Gazette,
and others. In other states, newspapers have published such lists,
making CWP-holders’ residences focused targets for burglars seeking guns
for crime. We propose a bill to prevent release of CWP-holder names
except for law enforcement purposes.

15. No shooting range property tax. The Deer Creek Shooting Center
recently had its property tax bill increase from $246 to over $7,000 in
one year, which is being assessed retroactively for two more years. MSSA
will see introduced a bill to flat exempt all active shooting ranges
from property taxes.

16. Prohibiting enforcement of new federal gun control. Since the school
shooting in Connecticut, Senator Diane Feinstein has promised to
introduce federal legislation to reassert the 1994 federal “assault
weapons” ban, to cause semi-auto firearms to be classified as machine
guns under the National Firearms Act, to require registration and
licensing of most gun owners, and much more. MSSA’s bill in response to
this will prohibit all state and local authorities from enforcing or
aiding in enforcing any such new federal gun control.

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

MTSSA’s Gary Marbut: Statement On The Newtown Mass Murders

December 18, 2012 2 comments

Montana Shooting Sports Association leader decries gun-free zones

By GWEN FLORIO of the Missoulian

Gary Marbut’s phone is ringing all the time these days with calls from national news organizations, along with lawmakers and citizens.

As some gun rights advocates call for increased firearms control, and others clam up entirely, Marbut is the go-to guy for quotes about maintaining the status quo or – better yet, he’d say – loosening gun regulations.

“I hear people say there needs to be a national dialogue about these bad guns,” said Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. “I would respond to them to say I think there needs to be a national dialogue about the horrible public policy failure of the alleged gun-free zones. That’s the dialogue.”

Marbut is hardly alone in opposing gun-free zones. But for the past few days he’s been largely on his own as a gun advocate speaking openly about his positions in the aftermath of the shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school that took the lives of 20 children and six adults.

The National Rifle Association took down its Facebook page after the shooting. The page went back up Tuesday, with a statement from NRA President Wayne LaPierre saying “we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting,” and adding that the NRA will offer “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” Pierre promised a “major” news conference Friday.

The Newtown-headquartered National Shooting Sports Foundation (not affiliated with Marbut’s group) posted a short statement on its website Friday, the day of the shooting:

“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this horrible tragedy in our community. Out of respect for the families, the community and the ongoing police investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment or participate in media requests at this time.”

On Tuesday, it expanded upon that, pointing out that in a small community like Newtown, “not suprisingly, we had family, friends and acquaintances that were affected. We are weighed down by their heartbreaking stories and the sorrow that has blanketed our community.” That statement reiterated the group’s decision not to publicly discuss the issue.


Marbut said Tuesday that three issues require focus in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre: Perspective. Armed teachers. And gun-free zones.

He’s strongly in favor of the first two, and just as vehemently opposed to the last.

In terms of perspective, he likened the odds of a child being injured by “an insane active shooter” to being hit by lightning. In 2011, 240 people were injured by lightning and 39 died, according to the National Weather Service.

This year, the shootings in Newtown, at a Christian college in California and at a school cafeteria in Oregon killed a total of 36 people.

Marbut suggested that people concerned about protecting children might, “in a more rational world,” want to focus on the far greater risks posed by automobiles and water, he said. The Centers for Disease Control lists accidents as the leading cause of death for people ages 5 to 24. The second-leading cause for those ages 5 to 14 is cancer; for 15- through 24-year-olds, it’s homicide, according to the CDC.

As for arming teachers – and Marbut stressed that should be on a volunteer basis only – “if we believe that the potential for crazy people to shoot up schools is a genuine risk we need to address, then the rational way to do that … is to allow, through public policy, teachers who are willing to undertake the responsibility” to carry.

On Monday, Virginia Gov. Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., told a local radio station that a discussion is needed on arming teachers.

One school district in Texas has been allowing teachers to carry for years. Superintendent David Thweatt told Fox News in 2008 that “we are seeing a lot of anger in society. … When you make schools gun-free zones, it’s like inviting people to come in and take advantage.”

Marbut said such zones defy logic, requiring the belief that “some madman who will ignore the most profound prohibition for any society, the prohibition against taking innocent life … somebody who has crossed all those stark lines would get to the edge of a gun-free zone and think to himself, ‘They have a policy against guns here, so I’d better go home and play computer games.’ ”

“Anyone who believes that,” Marbut added, “needs help.”

When it comes to the Newtown shootings, Marbut said that “like everybody else, I was stunned that a human being could be so crazy as to do something like that.”

That was his first reaction. His second?

“I wish I could’ve been there. If I had been there, it would have been one (victim) and done.”

Reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, or @CopsAndCourts.


Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer Stands By Second Amendment

December 18, 2012 1 comment

TWG:  I’m not a fan of Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, but at least he’s taking a stand for our Second Amendment and pointing out the dangers of video games in creating these mass murdering monsters that slaughter innocent school children.  I still dislike  Schweitzer, but I’ll thank him for this.


As Dems Cave, Gov Stands by 2nd Amendment

Aaron Flint posted on December 18, 2012 11:46

In the wake of the horrific school violence in Newtown, Connecticut, the few prominent Democratic politicians who back the 2nd Amendment, like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. John Warner (D-VA), appear to be backtracking from their prior defense of gun rights.

Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana, a rumored 2014 US Senate or 2016 presidential candidate; however, is standing firm in his support of gun rights.

“I don’t want to sound like a terrorist here, but you give me 20 gallons of propane- I can do a lot of damage in a very short period of time,” said Schweitzer during Tuesday morning’s Voices of Montana statewide radio talk show. “If there are evil people they can use guns, or as we’ve seen in Russia, they can also use things like propane.  You can use natural gas.  Five gallons of gasoline and imagine what can happen.”

Schweitzer added that he continues to oppose efforts by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to reinstate an assault weapons ban, and aimed his ire in the direction of video game manufacturers:

SCHWEITZER: “They plan to bring that legislation back, but that actually wouldn’t change anything thing that happened back there in Connecticut in terms of what gun was used and what types of guns could be used.”

“This is evil and it has everything to do with mental illness and look I’m gonna pick on somebody right now.  You wanna pick on somebody?  How about those video game manufacturers, where an entire generation are glued to a screen for 6 or 8 hours a day while they are poking buttons and blowing other people up and shooting them in the face.”



Will State Lawmakers Stand Against Voters And Impose Obamacare?

November 16, 2012 2 comments


By Dana Loesch

Source: DanaLoeschRadio.Com


Going solely on the remarks of Missouri State Rep. Jay Barnes, that answer is yes.

Yesterday I promised to assist in the primarying of any Republican lawmaker who refused to stand with the people who have twice voted against Obamacare. I disagreed on Twitter with Rep. Barnes’s assessment of our options where it concerns state exchanges and asked him about his quote in the St. Louis’s daily. His reasoning is that it’s better for us to implement Obamacare exchanges at the state level because that way we retain some sort of control, a premise that I and a frillion other conservatives who have followed this topic closely strongly dispute — along with Governors Perry, Jindal, Walker, Kasich, Snyder, Scott, and others, plus voters in Alabama, Montana, Wyoming, my state of Missouri, Ohio, Arizona, and Oklahoma who have voted for or amended their state constitutions to exclude Obamacare, and the 27 states suing over Obamacare — Barnes’s assessment. But apparently, we’re all uninformed and it’s a good thing we have state lawmakers with imperialistic complexes to guide us through the difficulties of self government.

I figured that we would end up agreeing to disagree but what I did not expect was to be yelled at, grotesquely condescended to, and have my intelligence questioned on live air by a sitting state representative simply because I disagreed with his opinion. I was shocked, to say the least. I want better for my listeners than a conversation where one party constantly interrupts and talks over the other one as she tries to ask a question. I wished it had gone better.



One question I tried to ask, to which Rep. Barnes responded with straw man and immediately convoluted, concerned how the Supreme Court gave states an opt out where it concerns Medicaid. Specifically:

By upholding the mandate as a constitutional exercise of Congress’s taxing power in June, the U.S. Supreme Court maintained the provision that helped hold the law together. But if the mandate is the cement, the law’s expansion of Medicaid and establishment of subsidized health insurance exchanges is the house itself. It’s these two provisions that will be responsible for $1.7 trillion of spending over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.




One of the silver linings of the Supreme Court decision is that it gave states the ability to opt out of the Medicaid expansion. Medicaid is one of the programs that is crushing state budgets and if implemented as intended, Obamacare will add 18 million beneficiaries to the program’s rolls. Though the federal government lures states with a honey pot in the short term – covering all of the expansion through 2016, by 2020 the states will be asked to kick in 10 percent of the cost, amounting to billions of dollars of spending imposed on states nationwide each year. It would be to the long-term benefit of governors to opt of the expansion.

How are states going to cope with this added cost?

My colleague Jagadeesh Gokhale estimates that expanding Medicaid will cost individual states up to $53 billion over the first ten years. That’s before an emboldened President Obama follows through on his threats to shift more Medicaid costs to states.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to fully ask this question at it relates to Missouri as Barnes interrupted and stated that Obamacare has nothing to do with this. Obamacare has nothing to do with increasing Medicaid costs for the states?

The law requires states to offer Medicaid to everyone making less than 138 percent of the poverty line — just over $30,000 for a family of four. In exchange, the federal government covers the cost of the expansion for the first three years — and 90 percent thereafter.


Sounds like a great deal for the states. But the administrative expenses involved in expanding the program will increase Medicaid costs for most states — even during the period when the government foots the bill, according to a new survey conducted by the Government Accountability Office.

Oooook. I’m not sure if Rep. Barnes understood what I was trying to ask or if he was excited and heard something else. I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt even if his manners today have shown he doesn’t deserve such a courtesy; there’s simply no way possible that one can separate Obamacare from the increased costs states are going to assume with Medicaid in addition to the costs associated with operating the health exchanges estimated to be anywhere from $10 million to $100 million per year.

Furthermore, there is only the appearance of state control. As Phillip Klein notes:

Though the law creates the veneer of providing states with flexibility on the exchanges, the reality is that all of the major decisions – from the broad structure of the exchanges to the details of what kind of health care plans will be offered in the exchanges and how they will be marketed – will be made from Washington. A careful reading of the law finds that all of the sections about state “flexibility” are filled with caveats that render them useless in practice, because Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will be running the show. For instance, Obamacare specifies that, “The Secretary shall, by regulation, establish criteria for the certification of health plans as qualified health plans.” And later orders that “An Exchange may not make available any health plan that is not a qualified health plan.” In other words, Sebelius will get to decide what type of health care plans can be offered on these state exchanges.


The law dictates that states must “assign a rating to each qualified health plan offered through such Exchange in accordance with the criteria developed by the Secretary” and “utilize a standardized format for presenting health benefits plan options in the Exchange.” The law also specifies that health plans must disclose certain information in plain language. Who determines what constitutes plain language? Well: “The Secretary and the Secretary of Labor shall jointly develop and issue guidance on best practices of plain language writing.” Then, there’s this dandy: “An Exchange may not establish rules that conflict with or prevent the application of regulations promulgated by the Secretary under this subtitle.”


Given that governors will have no real control over the exchanges anyway, they may as well let Obama administration officials sleep in the bed they made for themselves.

Rep. Barnes’s claims, and the claims of any Missouri Republican who say that these exchanges will be free of HHS oversight, simply don’t make sense, especially as the law itself dictates otherwise.

Barnes’s argument is that because Prop E says “legislature,” the will of the voters can be overlooked, emphasis mine:

Shall Missouri Law be amended to prohibit the Governor or any state agency, from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote of the people or by the legislature?


No direct costs or savings for state and local governmental entities are expected from this proposal. Indirect costs or savings related to enforcement actions, missed federal funding, avoided implementation costs, and other issues are unknown.

Reminder: the people of Missouri have twice rejected the supremely unpopular law. Being elected to office isn’t a free pass to supplant voters’ will with that of your own.

I want to help the Republican party become more constitutionally-focused and see them win more elections. It’s really difficult to do that when voters feel undermined after twice making their wishes known to lawmakers only to find them falling upon deaf ears.

Help me help you. 

Please keep the pressure on.

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