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Montana Self-Defense Legislation to be Heard on Thursday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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
(406)363-3391
stoker@montana.com


State Representative Deborah Kottel (D-20), Vice Chair
(406) 727-0542
dkottel@ugf.edu


State Representative Ken Peterson (R-46), Vice Chair
(406)534-2376
kenneth59@bresnan.net


State Representative Arlene Becker (D-52)
(406) 245-7256
arlene_becker@bresnan.net


State Representative Gerald Bennett (R-1)
(406)293-7012
jbenhd1@hotmail.com


State Representative Anders Blewett (D-21)
(406) 231-8618
anders.blewett@gmail.com


State Representative Robyn Driscoll (D-51)
(406)534-4874
rdriscoll@peoplepc.com


State Representative Bob Ebinger (D-62)
(406) 222-0438
buffalojump@imt.net


State Representative David Howard (R-60)
(406)633-2765
d.howard@usadig.com


State Representative Krayton Kerns (R-58)
(406) 628-8438
krayton@kraytonkerns.org


State Representative Margaret MacDonald (D-54)
(406)652-6625
macmargaret@gmail.com


State Representative Edith McClafferty (D-75)
(406)782-2700
edie.mcclafferty@gmail.com


State Representative Mike Menahan (D-82)
(406) 443-3759
mike@mikemenahan.com


State Representative Michael More (R-70)
(406) 763-5513
mp_more@yahoo.com


State Representative Keith Regier (R-5)
Home: (406)756-6141
kregier@centurytel.net


State Representative Diane Sands (D-95)
(406) 251-2001
hdsands@aol.com


State Representative Bob Wagner (R-71)
(406)287-5343

State Representative Wendy Warburton (R-34)
(406)262-3185
wendywarburton@gmail.com

 

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