Please Contact the House Judiciary Committee Today!
On Thursday, January 22, the House Judiciary Committee will consider important self-defense legislation and it is critical that Montana’s law-abiding gun owners voice their support for the bill.
House Bill 228, sponsored by State Representative Krayton Kerns (R-58), is a broad piece of legislation that provides a number of specific protections for law-abiding citizens. The provisions of HB 228 facilitate the right of self-defense by safeguarding victims across the whole legal continuum of an incident in which self defense is warranted and necessary, from before anything happens to the resolution of a criminal trial. HB228 does the following:
- Clarifies the ability of law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm in plain view and to display the firearm for harmless defensive purposes;
- Allows a person who can lawfully possess a firearm and who doesn’t use it to commit a criminal offense to carry it concealed anywhere in the state without first obtaining governmental permission;
- Prevents landlords and hotel operators from restricting law-abiding citizens’ self-defense rights and requires employers who do restrict such rights to provide a comparable level of security and safety;
- Clarifies in statute the existing legal precedent that there is no duty to retreat from a threat before exercising the right to self-defense and allows a law-abiding citizen to use reasonable force in exercising the existing law that gives a private person the authority to arrest an offender;
- Protects law-abiding citizens against seizure of their firearms absent an arrest and ensures return of seized property if a person is exonerated;
- Ensures that self-defense claims are adequately considered during incident investigations; and,
- Shifts to the state, if self-defense is asserted by a defendant in a criminal case, the burden of proving an absence of justification and provides reasonable attorney fees to a person who is accused of an offense and who is found to have acted in self-defense.
For a section-by-section analysis of the bill in order to better understand and communicate with legislators, please visit http://progunleaders.org/Self-defense/.
Please contact your legislators and the members of the House Judiciary Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to support and protect your right to self-defense by voting for HB228. Please call (406) 444-4800 to leave a message for your legislators as well as the House Judiciary Committee. You may also use the “online message form” located at http://leg.mt.gov/css/About%20the%20Legislature/Lawmaking%20Process/contact%20legislators.asp. Additional contact information for the committee can be found below.
State Representative Ron Stoker (R-87), Chair
State Representative Deborah Kottel (D-20), Vice Chair
State Representative Ken Peterson (R-46), Vice Chair
State Representative Arlene Becker (D-52)
State Representative Gerald Bennett (R-1)
State Representative Anders Blewett (D-21)
State Representative Robyn Driscoll (D-51)
State Representative Bob Ebinger (D-62)
State Representative David Howard (R-60)
State Representative Krayton Kerns (R-58)
State Representative Margaret MacDonald (D-54)
State Representative Edith McClafferty (D-75)
State Representative Mike Menahan (D-82)
State Representative Michael More (R-70)
State Representative Keith Regier (R-5)
State Representative Diane Sands (D-95)
State Representative Bob Wagner (R-71)
State Representative Wendy Warburton (R-34)