August 15, 2020

MSSA-Sponsored Gun Bills Advance in Legislature

Press Release from the Montana Shooting Sports Association:

Dear MSSA Friends,

All four bills that had public hearings before the Montana House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday have been passed by the Committee.  They will now advance to the floor of the House for action before the full body on Second Reading.  If you’re not familiar with what this means, please review:
These four bills that have moved on to the House floor are:

HB 262 – Permitless Carry (in other states called “Constitutional Carry”) – Rep. Bill Harris. Since 1991, a concealed weapon permit (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 two decades of experience that not requiring CWPs for nearly all of Montana has not created any problems, this bill will harmonize the law so a permit will no longer be required for a law abiding person to carry a concealed weapon in the remaining 6/10ths of 1% of Montana, inside cities and towns.  This bill would 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.  Another way to explain this is that if a law abiding person were wearing a firearm, this bill would make it legal to put on a coat inside city limits without a government permit to dress for cold or wet weather.  This bill was carried last session by Rep. Harris and passed House and Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Bullock.

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billhtml/HB0262.htm

HB 246 – Firearms in Post Offices – Rep. Randy Brodehl.  This bill would prohibit enforcement by state and local officers of federal laws making it a crime to have a firearm in a vehicle in a U.S. Post Office parking lot, or inside a Post Office building.

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billhtml/HB0246.htm

HB 273 – CWPs and legal immigrants – Rep. Barry Usher.  Current law requires that only U.S. citizens may apply for a Montana CWP.  This restriction has been stricken by federal courts in other states as a violation of  “equal protection” (of the laws) for legal immigrants, who are deemed to have rights protected by the Constitution.  This bill will cause Montana law to conform to the equal protection requirements of federal courts.

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billhtml/HB0273.htm

HB 251 – Exclude various concealed weapons  – Rep. Kirk Wagoner.  This bill would exclude from concealed weapons laws a variety of weapons listed there, including a dirk, dagger, pistol, revolver, slingshot, sword cane, billy, knuckles made of any metal or hard substance, knife having a blade 4 inches long or longer, and razor.  It would leave subject to concealed weapons laws only handguns.  This bill would simplify existing law.

http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2017/billhtml/HB0251.htm

Please contact your Representative and ask him or her to support all four of these bills.
Thanks,
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MSSA File Complaint Against One of Bloomberg’s Crony New York Lawyers

The Montana Shooting Sports Association and its President, Gary Marbut, have filed a complaint with the Montana Office of Disciplinary Counsel against an attorney in New York  City for allegedly offering legal advice without being licensed to practice law in Montana.<<<Read More>>>

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An Open Letter To President Donald Trump

*Editor’s Note* – The views expressed in the accompanied “Open Letter” may not totally express the opinions of this editor. Thank you.

Dear President Trump;
 
There are millions of us in this country who truly hope that you were sincere and honest about appointing a commission to investigate Hillary and Bill Clinton, and to hold them accountable for all the injustice they have inflicted upon this country.  Those two showed their true character and total selfishness when leaving the White House – illegally taking with them priceless National Heirlooms.  They truly considered themselves the “King & Queen of America” – free to live as they saw fit, outside of the laws which govern all the rest of the country’s citizens.
Whether you follow through with that campaign promise or not, there was one extreme criminal act of fraud and theft committed under the administration of William Jefferson Clinton that truly needs to be revisited.  That was the illegal introduction of a non-native wolf subspecies into the Northern U.S. Rockies during the early to mid-1990’s – and how those invasive predators were wrongfully allowed to destroy big game populations which took a hundred years to rebuild from the near extinction levels of the 1890’s and early 1900’s.  This criminal act was committed by none other than the United States Fish and Wildlife Service – an agency whose mandated mission is supposed to be the conservation of wildlife populations.
Since the early 1900’s, America’s sportsmen have fully funded the conservation efforts which brought huntable species back from that near total loss.  Through the years, the money that hunters and fishermen have spent to purchase hunting and fishing licenses has also funded the establishment and annual operations of State Game & Fish Departments.  All of this was accomplished without burdening the average taxpayer.  It was all financed by the very sportsmen who valued a bounty of game.  Those same hunters and fishermen also strongly supported imposing excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment to finance the improvement and expansion of healthy and suitable habitat for game and fish – under the Pittman-Robertson Act (1937) and the Dingell-Johnson Act (1950).
 
The dumping of North-Central Canadian wolves into the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem in 1995-1996 had absolutely nothing to do with restoring wolves to the region.  The native subspecies of wolf still existed in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming – and could be found in small isolated packs – supposedly protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  Under pressure from radical environmental and animal rights groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service actually violated the Endangered Species Act when it covertly flew wolves in from Alberta, housed them inside of Yellowstone National Park, and unleashed those wolves into one of the richest wildlife regions of the United States.  
Those same wolves, and their offspring, quickly killed out the smaller endangered native wolf, and in short order began to negatively impact elk, moose, deer and other big game populations.  When game became harder for them to hunt, the larger and more aggressive Canadian wolves turned to feeding on cattle, horses and other livestock.   
Within 15 years, the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd had been drastically reduced from around 22,000 (in 1995) to around 6,000 by 2010.  Today, that herd is down to around 3,000 animals.  That loss is directly due to never ending predation by wolves, which quickly kill out the young of the year, eliminating any chance of the herd reversing the dramatic decline.  As the wolves proliferated and began to spread rapidly, that same level of wolf predation has destroyed elk herds up and down the Northern U.S. Rocky Mountains by 80-percent – destroying along with that loss of game the hunting opportunities for the very same sportsmen who have funded real wildlife conservation.
 
What makes this crime so much more severe, is the manner in which USFWS acquired the money for funding the project – which Congress had already denied.
 
The USFWS literally embezzled the money out of the Pittman-Robertson funds, which by law were to be used exclusively for the improvement of wildlife habitat.  The agency did a great job of hiding the theft of these sportsman provided dollars until Jim Beers, a former Chief of National Wildlife Refuge Operations, blew the whistle on the stolen funds. A Congressional Hearing was convened on that robbery, but the best they could narrow it down to was that between $60- and $70-million were misappropriated by the USFWS, under the leadership of, then, Director Jamie Rappaport Clark.
USFWS had authorized the illegal use of those funds to foot the bill for a number of projects, including the introduction of non-native wolves into the American West.  Other non-approved projects, or whims, were the building of a new Regional USFWS Office in California, new vehicles for the USFWS, bonuses of up to $30,000 (including for Director Clark herself), moving expenses for USFWS employees, the purchase of “National Refuge” land for the building of a prison, and a slush fund for upper USFWS management. 
 
So, who was held accountable?  No One!
 
Today, Jamie Rappaport Clark is serving as the CEO of the animal rights group known as Defenders of Wildlife, knocking down some $300,000 a year.  Defenders of Wildlife is one of the radical environmental groups which have used the Equal Access to Justice Act to keep its coffers filled.  Collectively, this “Non-Profit Organization”, and dozens of other phony “Wildlife & Environmental” groups have milked the wolf cash cow for several billion taxpayer dollars over the past twenty years.
Another criminal in all of this would be the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project coordinator, Ed Bangs.  The USFWS did its best to keep “facts and figures” hidden.  There really is no way to put a figure on just how many stolen sportsman dollars were spent to illegally bring those wolves across the International Boundary between Canada and the United States.  According to the USFWS’s own extremely strict regulations, Form No. 3-177 must be submitted in order to bring any live wildlife or fish species into this country.  That form identifies the exact subspecies being imported…the exact number being brought across the border…and the exact cost of the shipment.  Those are all “exact” things that USFWS apparently did not want the American public to know.  Bangs failed to ever file that “mandatory” form.  Other than Ed Bangs himself, no one likely knows the exact cost of paying Alberta trappers to live trap those wolves…or exactly how many shipments were actually made…or the exact number of Canadian wolves that were literally dumped into Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
 
Further tainting those transplants has been speculation that many of the so-called “wolves” that project leader Bangs did bring into the U.S. were actually wolf-sled dog hybrid crosses.  Bangs has been quoted saying, “If it looks like a wolf…and can live in the wild…and reproduce…then I consider it a wolf.”  That’s just another violation of the Endangered Species Act.
Please keep in mind, all of this began under the Bill Clinton administration.  Along the way there have been many accusations of U.S. Senators and Representatives being paid off…of Federal Judges accepting under the table money…or Governors receiving incentive to “Look The Other Way”.  Both Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game have long allowed the destruction of big game populations to continue far too long…not to have had some of those millions of dirty dollar thrown their way.  Who knows, Bill Clinton himself might have pocketed a few million dollars.
 
The Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project has been the dirtiest and darkest chapter in wildlife conservation in this country.  Under the Obama administration very little was done to clean up this mess, or to hold guilty individuals and the less than genuine organizations responsible.  But, that’s understandable.  All of this has nothing to do with “wolf conservation” … but rather everything to do about the United Nations’ goal of pushing people off the land and into the cities – Agenda 21. 
You know as well as I do, that Obama’s run for the presidency was totally orchestrated and largely paid for by George Soros, and his billionaire friends.  Soros and others within the crowd he tends to associate with are the largest supporters of the United Nations – and its futuristic goals of drastically reducing the human population of Planet Earth…centralizing human settlements…and returning a vast majority of this planet to wilderness areas where predators rule and keep wildlife populations in check.
 
Obama has been a part of that same idiotic ideology, explaining his real reason for pushing so hard for gun control, and supporting the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.  As long as we have the right to “Keep and Bear Arms” in this country, the U.N.’s pipe dream is just that.
 
Mr. President, if you honestly want to go down in the history of this country as being one of the “Greatest Presidents” of the United States, begin by fully investigating the corruption, lies, deceit, collusion and theft surrounding the forced Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project, and similar wolf projects in the Northern Midwest…in the Southwest…and along the Eastern Seaboard.  Hold those responsible fully accountable, and return the feeling to Americans that we do indeed live in “The Land of The Free”. 
 
Ryan Zinke is the right man for Secretary of the Interior … and Jim Beers, the 32 year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who blew the whistle on the theft of Pittman-Robertson Funds for financing the destructive wolf projects, is the man to clean up that filthy federal agency.
 
Respectfully Yours,
Toby Bridges,
Lobo Watch 2
Missoula, Montana
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Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame to Induct RMEF’s Munson

Press Release from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame recently named Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation co-founder Bob Munson among its 2016 inductees.

“I am humbled and grateful for this honor,” said Munson. “I am especially proud that RMEF was born in Montana and still calls this great state home. I thank my wife, Vicki, who also played a key role in shaping RMEF, for always being by my side and supporting me.”

“This recognition is most deserving,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Bob’s induction is a reflection of his character, work ethic and endurance in establishing and helping this organization become the great conservation force that it is today. We thank him and Vicki for their past and continuing efforts.”

Munson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964 from the University of Montana. He served his country for four years as a U.S. Army captain. Munson was one of four Montana elk hunters who founded RMEF in 1984. He led RMEF in an executive capacity through 14 years of substantial growth and conservation achievement. He and wife Vicki, who have six children, currently serve as co-chairmen of the RMEF Habitat Council along with co-founder Charlie Decker and his wife, Yvonne. Munson is also a RMEF board member.

The Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals, both living and posthumous, who made significant and lasting contributions to the restoration and conservation of Montana’s wildlife and wild places. The focus of the awards is not only to recognize Montana’s historical and contemporary conservation leaders, but also to capture the stories of these individuals in an effort to contribute to public awareness and education.

Munson and his fellow inductees will have their names recorded by the Montana Historical Society and take part in induction ceremonies December 3, 2016, in Helena.

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Requirement of Background Checks for Private Gun Sales a “Challenge to Constitution”

The city of Missoula, Montana recently passed an ordinance that requires background checks on all private gun sales within the city limits. (Note: I’ve been unable to find the actual text of the ordinance, but here’s some information about it.) Through legal channels, it has been requested that the Montana Attorney General investigate and come up with an opinion as to whether or not this requirement imposed on private gun sales is in conflict with the Second Amendment and the Montana Constitution.

“Knudsen says he has been concerned with Missoula’s proposed ordinance for over a year, and that the issue may come up in the next legislative session.

“The Second amendment and Firearms are a very big deal to me personally and I think that this is an important issue,” Knudsen said. “Any time you start messing with people’s Second Amendment rights, not only under thee Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but also under the Montana Constitution, people have the right to keep and bear arms…when you start messing with that, people get upset. I think there is definitely a possibility that the legislature could do something.”

Fox has already issued the following statement regarding the ordinance.

“Contrary to the opinion of the City Attorney, whom I respect, I believe that Missoula’s proposed gun control ordinance is prohibited by state law and likely violates our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”“<<<Read More>>>

 

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Bullock Lied to Montana Voters and the Media

Press Release from Gary Marbut:

Bullock’s Statement about Second Amendment Support is Flat Wrong
MISSOULA – In the Billings debate between challenger Greg Gianforte and Governor Steve Bullock, the candidates were asked a question about their support for the right to keep and bear arms.  In his response, Governor Bullock claimed, “I’ve worked with the Legislature to make sure that you can protect your home and your property by passing the castle doctrine.”
Gary Marbut, author of Gun Laws of Montana commented, “Bullock’s statement is flat wrong.  Montana’s castle doctrine law, ‘Defense of an occupied structure,’ has been on the Montana law books since the Bannack Statutes of Montana territorial days, about 1865.  That existing law was most recently clarified in 2009 in a bill signed by Governor Schweitzer, before Bullock was Governor.”
“It’s pretty sleazy,” Marbut continued, “for Bullock to claim credit for a law that was enacted just after the Civil War, long before he was born.  That sure makes a person wonder about his answers to other questions posed by panelists during the debate, such as the one ‘Have you ever been involved in an extra-marital affair?’ “
When introducing his position on the right to keep and bear arms, Bullock said, “In Montana we use our guns for both self protection and for our public lands.”
About this comment, Marbut asked, “Just how do Montanans use guns for public lands?  How much further could Bullock be out of touch with the tens of thousands of Montana gun owners who use firearms for recreation, competitive shooting, collecting, predator control, and other legitimate uses?”
Marbut noted a Democrat from Bozeman running for Congress who pointed out that every political aspirant in Montana must claim to support the Second Amendment.  To do otherwise would be political suicide.  “Bullock’s multiple vetoes of pro-gun bills passed by the Legislature and his false claim of credit for a law enacted before his parents were born paint an accurate picture of Bullock’s true disrespect for the right to keep and bear arms,” Marbut said.
Marbut is also President of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners.  MSSA has endorsed challenger Greg Gianforte in his bid to replace Bullock as Governor, because Gianforte has pledged to sign the bills that Bullock has vetoed.  The National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America have also endorsed Gianforte.
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Expanded US habitat protection ordered for rare lynx

*Editor’s Note* – Here is a prime example of what is wrong with everything involved in government. This includes the Court System. Nobody knows what the Canada lynx population is…anywhere. Nobody knows what the lynx population used to be or ever was. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, kow-towing to their Environmentalists buddies, list the species as needing protecting, and along with it designating “critical habitat.” In Maine, this designation is beginning to upset the entire managed wildlife structure.

In addition, the judge, who shouldn’t be ruling on such matters, according to this report, ordered the USFWS to designate MORE critical habitat because they didn’t do it five years ago. Make a lot of sense?

For those interested, a copy of the Court’s decision can be found here.

SALMON, Idaho — A federal judge ordered U.S. wildlife managers on Wednesday to enlarge habitat protections in Idaho, Montana and Colorado for the Canada lynx, a rare wild cat that roams the Rockies and mountain forests of several other states.

Chief U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Missoula, Montana, ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service erred in 2014 when it revised its critical habitat designations for the lynx with little or no expansion beyond the original plan issued five years earlier.

The Canada lynx, whose large paws make it well adapted to hunting in deep, mountain snows, was listed in 2000 as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

The lynx is not considered imperiled in Alaska or Canada, where it ranges widely in forest areas, but its population in the Lower 48 states is believed to be small, though actual numbers are unknown, according to government scientists. (emboldening added)<<<Read More>>>

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Removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Population of Grizzly Bears From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the public comment period on our March 11, 2016, proposed rule to revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, under the authority of the Endangered Species Act, by removing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis). In our proposed rule, we emphasized that the governments of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho needed to promulgate regulations managing human-caused mortality of grizzly bears before we would proceed with a final rule. Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho recently finalized such mechanisms. We are also announcing the receipt of five independent peer reviews of the proposed rule. We are reopening the comment period for the proposed rule to allow all interested parties an additional opportunity to comment on the proposed rule in light of these documents. If you submitted comments previously, you do not need to resubmit them because we have already incorporated them into the public record and will fully consider them in preparing the final rule.<<<Read More>>>

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End of domestic smokeless powder?

Dear MSSA Friends,
The rumor is circulating that new federal regulations will put an end to domestic smokeless powder production in the U.S.
This is both true and not true.
The BATFE proposed a new regulation for the storage, transportation and documentation of “wetted nitrocellulose,” which is a precursor for manufacture of smokeless powder.  This proposed regulation would make compliance so difficult and expensive that it could cut off domestic production.
However, because of industry input about the possible consequences of this proposed regulation, the BATFE has decided to withdraw it for further consideration.  It could still happen, but for now it’s on hold.
One concern is that this proposal and Internet attention to it could spark a consumer run on smokeless powder and ammunition.  Demand for powder and ammo is still a couple of orders of magnitude (or more) more elastic than the supply side can accommodate.  So, this could create another run on finite supplies.
Those who follow MSSA legislative activity know that we got our Ammunition Availability Act passed into law in 2015.  The AAA was/is to encourage the manufacture of smokeless powder, small arms primers, and cartridge brass in Montana.  We launched this legislative effort mostly because there are only two producers of smokeless powder in the U.S. – all other smokeless we consume here is imported and subject to administrative control by the U.S. State Department.  We wanted to both encourage smokeless production in Montana, and to set a model for how that could be done in other states all across the U.S., to make our Right to Keep and Bear Arms less vulnerable to political interruption of powder supplies.
Stay tuned for more info about this …
Best wishes,
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