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Montana Self-Defense Reform Bill Heads to the House for Concurrence!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Please Contact Your State Representative Today!

Yesterday, House Bill 228 passed the Senate by a vote of 40-10.  The bill now returns to the House for concurrence. 

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 bill has changed somewhat and, although concealed carry in cities without a permit has been removed and a restriction on concealed carry in health care facilities was added, on balance HB228 still remains a significant advancement for law-abiding firearm owners. 

HB228 would do the following: 

1.) Clarifies the ability of law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm openly and to draw or present the weapon for defensive purposes;
2.) Clarifies in statute the existing legal precedent that there is no duty to retreat from a threat before using justifiable force, 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;
3.) Expands the existing law allowing the use of force in defense of an occupied structure;
4.) Shifts to the state, if evidence of justifiable use of force is raised by a defendant in a criminal case, the burden of proving an absence of justification;
5.) Prevents landlords and hotel operators from restricting law-abiding citizens’ self-defense rights;
6.) Ensures that self-defense claims are adequately considered during incident investigations;
7.) Prevents the destruction of firearms by law enforcement agencies and requires they be sold to a licensed dealer; and,
8.) Allows the issuance of concealed weapon permit to those whose rights have been restored.

Please contact your State Representative TODAY and respectfully urge them to concur with the Senate amendments to HB228 and to send the bill to the Governor.  You may call (406) 444-4800 to leave a message for your legislators.  You may also use the “online message form” located here.  When contacting your State Representative, it is important that you be as respectful and courteous as possible.  Long, terse, rude, and disrespectful messages are counterproductive.

If you don’t know who your legislator is, please click
here.

Once you identify your legislator, you can find email contact information by clicking on his or her name at the following alphabetical listing of legislators:
http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/61st/roster.asp?HouseID=0&SessionID=94.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.