Archive for February 9th, 2009

by jhwygirl

This is the second time, for crying out loud, so I gotta say something.

After the 2nd reading vote on HB228, the Missoulian has a story headlined Self defense bill clears the house.

That false. Wrong. Inaccurate.

There is a third reading, after which – if a majority approve – HB228 will clear the house.

The first time? That I noticed? That would have been HB157, which, if you click that for the vote, to the story linked to above (“This is the second time” link at the very beginning of this post) was written on the 2nd, while the third reading didn’t occur until the 3rd.

Here’s the thing. There is a chance that some Representatives up there in Helena may change their vote. Beyond that, the citizens of this great state of Montana deserve to know that they still have a chance at stopping the gun bill lunacy of Krayton Kerns’ HB228 by contacting their legislators tonight or tomorrow before 1 p.m.’s House Floor vote.

What’s worse is that the damned story goes on within the content talking about how the Senate might “tweak some of it.”

Yi yi yi.

So a lesson in procedure for those reporters who are filing stories that are being picked up by Lee Newspapers: Here in Montana bills have a first reading in the legislative house that they enter. From there they go to a committee and a hearing or two or three – whatever – is held. The committee votes. It may or may not move forward. If it does, it goes to a 2nd reading, which it has to pass to move forward. If it passes, the 3rd reading is usually the next day. If it passes there, it gets sent to the next legislative house (which, in the two cases above, would be the Senate). From there the process is repeated.

And really – you shouldn’t believe me – you should probably stop by the information desk at legislative services and ask a couple of questions on process to understand the whole thing. I find the people there not only very helpful, but very knowledgeable.

Isn’t there someone at the paper who’s responsible, at least, to check this stuff out for accuracy?

Just so everyone knows. This post pained me to have to write it. Had it not happened again, I’da never mentioned that it had happened at all….but jimminy crickets – how in the hell can I read the stuff they’re writing and believe it to be accurate with flaming inaccuracies like this?

Especially with the impact it has? It effectively shuts down the public input process when there is still a house vote left.



by problembear

the current law allows 650% interest*

a hearing scheduled for montana senate bill 397  (revises payday and vehicle title loans to a maximum interest rate of 36% )* is set for 9:00am in room 422 this friday at the capital bldg in Helena before the senate business, labor and economic affairs committee. the bill is sponsored by Senator Kim Gillan,D-Billings.  please email or call your support for eliminating predatory loans on low wage earners and the poor in montana.

Carolyn Squires D missoula

please direct your polite and brief phone message of support to committee secretary Linda Keim  406 444-4772 and be sure to mention that you would like her to pass your comments on to the committee working on the senate bill number 397 in your message. thank you .

rest assured the committee will get an earful from the extremely well heeled lobbyists for this very lucrative loan shark industry. but the committee  needs to hear from fair-minded montanans that we will not tolerate our low wage earners and poor used as ATM’s by these vultures.

more info on predatory lending here.

by jhwygirl

For more information, check out this post.

The following information from the Montana County Attorney’s Association. If the previous post didn’t scare you, what follows will.

HB 228 makes sweeping changes to the Montana criminal code, its concealed weapon statutes, and the permit process. Here are answers to the Frequently Asked Questions that the Montana County Attorneys, the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers, and Montana’s Chiefs of Police have received about this bill.

Q. If HB 228 passes, will convicted felons be allowed to carry concealed weapons?

A. Under current law, when a law enforcement officer stops someone for a traffic violation and a pat-down search for officer safety reveals a convicted felon carrying any type of concealed weapon (it does not have to be a firearm), that conduct, in and of itself, is a felony. The plain language of HB 228 Section 8(2) changes this. It allows any person, including convicted violent/sexual offenders, to carry concealed weapons, so long as the person was not using the weapon to commit another crime. The current felony statutory sanction will no longer be available to law enforcement, putting our officers and community at risk. Authorizing convicted violent/sexual offenders to covertly arm themselves obviously creates dangerous consequences with dire results.

Q. Why do the sponsors want felons to have the privilege of carrying concealed weapons?

A. We don’t know.

Q. If HB 228 passes, will I be able to carry my concealed weapon into government buildings?

A. The MCAA and law enforcement take the position that carrying in government buildings or other presently prohibited places will remain against the law. However, the potential conflict of laws creates a serious problem. Presently, under § 45-8-328, there are places where a concealed weapon may not be carried, and these include buildings or portions of buildings used for state or local government offices. Sections 7 and 8 of HB 228 confuse rather than clarify current law because they amend or repeal some provisions of the Carrying Concealed Weapons (CCW) permit structure, but do not mention nor address other provisions. HB 228 Section 8 states that as long as you are not using the concealed weapon to commit a criminal offense, you may carry it there. Someone will likely challenge these current prohibitions and we will have to litigate this matter all the way to the Supreme Court. Criminal defense attorneys will strongly argue that because of the ambiguity created by the bill, their client could not act “purposely or knowingly” and thought he had permission to carry. Which side would prevail is unclear, but generally whenever our Supreme Court is confronted with ambiguous language or conflicting statutes, it favors the charged individual’s interpretation.

Q. If HB 228 passes, will I be able to carry my concealed weapon into a bar, casino, or other places where alcohol is served?

A. Unclear. Same answer as above.

Q. If HB 228 passes, will I be able to carry my concealed weapon into my bank or credit union?

A. No. Federal law still prohibits carrying into a bank. While some citizens may believe HB 228 shields him to carry, he will be violating federal law regarding carrying into banks and credit unions.

Q. Will HB 228 have any effect on the permit process in current law (45-8-329) or on Montana’s reciprocity agreement with other states?

A. Unclear, but possible. The Attorney General is responsible for administering the reciprocity agreements. This question is being researched. It is possible this bill will invalidate reciprocity agreements with other states, negatively affecting untold numbers of Montana’s law-abiding citizens who rely upon such agreements.

Q. 45-8-329 speaks to the concealed Weapon Advisory Council. Was HB 228 presented to the CCW Advisory Council?

A. Unknown.


HB228 comes to its second reading on the House floor today (Monday) at 1 p.m.

Take the time to read the previous post and contact house legislators by calling the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800 to leave a message for as many as five legislators per call. Your message will be delivered directly to the legislators. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.

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