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Montana: Pro-Gun Bills are Progressing in the Legislature, Your Action Needed

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Montana: Pro-Gun Bills are Progressing in the Legislature, Your Action Needed

Tomorrow, House Bill 371 is expecting its second reading vote in the Montana House of Representatives.  Sponsored by Kerry White (R-64), HB 371 would allow those with a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm into a restaurant where alcohol is not the primary item of sale, financial institutions such as banks, and government buildings.  Please contact your Representative and urge him or her to support House Bill 371 when it comes up for a vote on the House Floor.  Contact information for your state Representative can be found here.

Today, the Montana House of Representatives passed House Bill 298 on third reading by a 56 to 43 vote.  Sponsored by state Representative Bill Harris (R-29), HB 298 expands Montanan’s freedom to legally carry a concealed firearm without a Montana concealed weapons permit (CWP).  HB 298 would harmonize the carry laws present in city limits with those outside city limits.  Currently, outside the city limits, residents are not required to obtain a concealed weapons permit in order to carry a concealed firearm.  This permitless carry legislation would bring conformity across the state and gives Montanans the freedom to choose the best method of carrying for them, based on their attire, gender and/or physical attributes.  House Bill 298 will now be transferred over to the Senate where it will receive a committee referral.

Expecting a vote at any time in the House Judiciary Committee is House Bill 505.  Sponsored by state Representative Matthew Monforton (R-69), House Bill 505 provides an exemption from liability for employers who allow employees to keep a firearm out of sight and locked in their vehicle.

Also referred to the House Judiciary Committee is Senate Bill 143.  Sponsored by Senator Cary Smith (R-27), Senate Bill 143 would prohibit restrictions on firearms that forbid law-abiding adults to protect themselves on college and university campuses. The Board of Regents would retain regulatory authority on things such as discharge, unholstered carry, dormitory storage and possession at campus events where alcohol is served and consumed.

Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and politely urge them to support House Bill 505 and Senate Bill 143 when they come up for a vote.  Contact information for committee members is provided below.

On Tuesday, the Senate Fish and Game Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 295.  Sponsored by state Senator Mark Blasdel (R-4), SB 295 would remove the prohibition on the legal use of suppressors while hunting.  Currently, hunters and sportsmen in 35 states across the country are able to use these sound suppressing devices for the taking of wildlife.

There are numerous benefits to hunting with suppressed firearms, including:

  • Elimination of noise complaints frequently used as an excuse to close hunting lands throughout the country, resulting in the protection of hunting areas well into the future.
  • Reduction of recoil and muzzle rise resulting in increased accuracy of hunters.  More accurate shooting in the field means fewer wounded and lost animals, good for both hunters and wildlife.
  • Reduction in muzzle report to hearing-safe levels, limiting the risk that the hunter or anyone with the hunter will suffer permanent hearing loss if they fail to use hearing protection.

A vote could occur at any time on Senate Bill 295.  It is important that you contact members of the Senate Fish and Game Committee and urge them to support SB 295 when it comes up for a vote.  Contact information for Committee members is provided below.


House Judiciary Committee:

Jerry Bennett (R-1), Chair
(406) 293-7012

Alan Doane (R-36), Vice-Chair
(406) 583-7546

Virginia Court (D-50), Vice-Chair
(406) 259-5099

Seth Berglee (R-58)
(406) 690-9329

Jenny Eck (D-79)
(406) 459-1082

Clayton Fiscus (R-43)
(406) 860-6400

Stephanie Hess (R-28)

Ellie Boldman Hill (D-90)
(406) 218-9608

Kathy Kelker (D-47)
(406) 652-6716

Sarah Laszloffy (R-53)
(406) 530-7013

Margie MacDonald (D-51)
(406) 652-6625


Senate Fish and Game Committee:

John Brenden (R-17), Chair
(406) 783-5394

Rick Ripley (R-10), Vice-Chair
(406) 562-3502

Tom Facey (D-50)
(406) 240-4242

Jennifer Fielder (R-7)

Bradley Maxon Hamlett (D-15)
(406) 799-5885

Jedediah Hinkle (R-32)
(406) 585-0722

Mike Phillips (D-31)
(406) 599-5857

Cary Smith (R-27)
(406) 698-9307

Chas Vincent (R-1)
(406) 293-1575

Gene Vuckovich (D)
(406) 563-2313

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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.