Monday, January 26, 2009

Montana – Far Reaching Firearm Bills Proposed

The state of Montana is one of the most Second Amendment friendly states in the Union. As reported last year, Montana had even threatened to secede from the Union if the Heller decision had gone the wrong way citing “breach of contract” with the state. A recent thread over at gunsnet has highlighted a couple of bills that will be going through the Montana legislature soon.

The first is HB 228 – some of the highlights:

"A BILL RESTORING THE RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENSE. Among other things, this bill reaffirms the right of Montanans to use firearms to defend themselves or others by providing that:

"(1) A law-abiding person threatened with bodily injury has no duty to flee;

"(2) A person may harmlessly and defensively brandish or display a firearm;

"(3) A landlord, hotel, or motel may not prohibit firearms;

"(4) An employer who bans firearms has a responsibility for protecting the employees;

"(5) A concealed firearm may be carried without a permit unless used to commit a criminal offense; and

"(6) Deadly force may be used in some cases to effect a citizen's arrest."

The first part of this is simply the Castle Doctrine which has been adopted recently by many states, much to the dismay of the groups opposed to the individual right to self defense (interesting how none of their dire predictions have come true, though!). The other parts are a bit further reaching to include liability for the establishment of “defenseless victim zones” (also known as “gun free zones”). I’ve honestly thought that this was a good idea for years. I don’t know how much a chance the law has passing in its current form, but it is good to see some positive action for a change.

The second bill is HB 246 – this is a far more radical bill, but it is an interesting study in the law:

"A BILL ALLOWING GUNS TO BE MADE IN THE STATE. Among other things, this bill states that:

"(1) Based on the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments, a firearm, accessory, or ammunition manufactured in Montana which remains in Montana and is marked "Made in Montana" is not subject to federal law or regulation; and

"(2) Raw materials from other states or generic or insignificant parts from other states do not render these provisions inapplicable to what otherwise is a Montana firearm."

Most of the power that the BATFE has to regulate firearms falls under the interstate commerce clauses of the Constitution (though arguably so). Given that those opposed to the Second Amendment seem to go to great lengths to violate the letter and spirit of the Constitution through mental gymnastics, in a way it’s nice to see the shoe on the other foot for once. Quite frankly, though, I really wish that we didn’t have to resort to this sort of legal prestidigitation to protect our Second Amendment rights. I predict that this bill probably has little chance at becoming law, but it does represent an additional legal option.

I urge any readers in Montana to contact their representatives and ask them to support these bills!

Until next time!!!


Gene said...

oh, nice bills. Montana make a marvelous steps to protect their civilians. I think every states of United States should follow these Firearms bills.
Thanx for this post Fingolfen

Fingolfen said...

I tend to agree - maybe the nation should start following Montana rather than California... :D

D.M. McGowan said...

Great bills.
Sad to say it will be a cold day in hell when something like that is proposed (never mind passed) up here North of the 49th parallel.
The best chance of that ever happening is better education, which at this point is almost non-existant (although easily available).
I see where Irish authorities (where firearms are NOT allowed) have confiscated 21 firearms this month after a drug lord and his driver where assasinated. Seems like a great waste of police resources.

Fingolfen said...

So how are things going up in Canada at this point? The UK and Ireland are pretty much lost causes at this point, unfortunately. It's going to take some sort of major paradigm shift to reverse the entrenched legislation there...