Kerns’ Crazy Gun Bill – HB 228 – Faces Growing Opposition

by jhwygirl

Update: I want to update this to say that placement of this bill in a subcommittee is certainly indicative that cooler heads are at work here. Continued opposition to this bill – via calls or emails to the Senate Judiciary – will continue to be helpful.

HB228 faced growing opposition, with significant opposition testimony in a Senate Judiciary hearing on Tuesday.

This Seattle Times article reports on that hearing, and notes that while the NRA has promised to make this a priority bill, it has fractured the organization, with members openly speaking in opposition to the bill.

“It’s our most important bill of the session,” NRA regional lobbyist Brian Judy said in an interview. “NRA members will be apprised of developments.”

That means lawmakers can expect a steady stream of e-mails from gun rights advocates. And Judy said the measure will be used to help craft the NRA scorecard so important to many Montana politicians.

Police officers — touting their own NRA credentials — said the bill goes too far and creates loopholes for criminals.

Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir said the NRA does not speak for every member. His opposition stems from a “fear of armed criminals,” he said.

Some of the groups that testified in opposition?

Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Montana Association of Chiefs of Police
Montana Police Protective Association
Montana County Attorney’s Association
Montana Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Association
Montana Human Rights Network
The Associated Students of Montana State University
The Associated Students of the University of Montana

Why?

Ø Allows for the brandishing of a weapon at any time without justification.

Ø Provides for the carrying of a concealed weapon by anyone without a permit.

Ø Undermines 18 years of improvements to domestic violence statutes by shifting the presumption of self-defense and effectively allowing a partner to use deadly force as the first option as opposed to the last resort.

Ø Montana University system students are concerned about the potential impacts on safety in their communities and on their campuses.

Ø Addresses no present problem. Sponsors were unable to demonstrate a single case in which prosecutors or law enforcement deprived Montana citizens of their self-defense rights.

Ø Contains serious technical problems and sets up conflicts within the legal statutes.

Ø Despite the Proponent’s intentions, this bill threatens public safety in Montana.

It is not too late to call the Senate Judiciary Committee members. Do not allow out-of-state NRA lobbyists and interest drive this issue. Frankly, the arrogance expressed by Brian Judy is shameful, but not surprising.

Incidentally, there is a saner version of the castle doctrine/rightful use of force legislation. SB92 has passed out of the Senate (on a 45-3 vote) and is in the House Judiciary where it awaits its executive action committee vote. Consider calling the number below and leaving a message for the House Judiciary, in support of SB92.

To be clear here – the “bad” bill is in Senate Judiciary (HB228) and the “good” bill is in House Judiciary (SB92).

Call the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800 to leave a message for the entire Senate Judiciary committee. Mention HB 228. Your message will be delivered directly to the legislators. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.


  1. it was only a matter of time before the lunatics on the far right went so far right they started eating their own tail…

  2. Pronghorn

    Below is the response I received yesterday. My message opposing this bill referenced the recent statistics on increased domestic violence resulting in murder–where guns were used in the majority of cases. The return message starts now:

    This email is being sent to you on behalf of Sen. Jim Shockley in response to a message you sent 3/17/2009.
    This (HB 228) has no bearing on domestic violence. However, it needs modification. Thanks for your email.

    Jim

  3. Richard Kauffman

    STOP HOUSE BILL 228 I’AM EX LAWENFORCEMENT, I NEVER HEAR OF ANYTHING SO STUPID.

  4. Joey Donna

    actually if you read the bill, which you probably didnt it states that you may display a firearm for a “harmless defensive display”. It does not say brandish when ever you want. Aggressive displays or unwarranted ie not for defensive purposes are illegal. Further more as for the whole argument about not needing a permit being an issue, montana is a mandatory issue permit state, meaning that if you can legally purchase a firearm it is illegal for the local pigs to reject your permit app. So again anyone who wants to pack can legally, this new law would save paper. Any liberals in montana who honestly think they can defy the culture ingrained in this state is on dope.

    • Oh, I read the bill. You, on the other hand, obviously don’t know what it says.

      And I guess all those attorneys and law enforcement officers are wrong? You know more than them?

      Sorry. No way.

      • petetalbot

        ” … it is illegal for the local pigs to reject your permit … ”

        Wow, I haven’t heard that kind of language since Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and the Chicago Seven trial, although it was used in a different context.

        In my hippie youth, yeah, we called them pigs. Since I’ve grown up and become wiser, I’ve tried to show a modicum of respect since most of the law enforcement folks I’ve dealt with over the years have been nothing but professional.

  5. BaabSlaab

    So, HB 228 “addresses no present problem. Sponsors were unable to demonstrate a single case in which prosecutors or law enforcement deprived Montana citizens of their self-defense rights.” Is that right?

    How about the Longstreth case? It was cited by HB 228 supporters in several committee meetings, public comments, and floor debate. The current burden-of-proof requirements resulted in Jody Longstreth of Belgrade being convicted of negligent homicide for killing her boyfriend/assailant in self defense. HB 228 fixes this.

    How about when you wrote that HB 228 “Provides for the carrying of a concealed weapon by anyone without a permit”? Anyone? Really?

    The truth is that HB 228 does not authorize felons to carry firearms because it is a felony under state (45-8-313 and 45-8-314 MCA) and federal law for a felon to even be in possession of a firearm, concealed or not.

    How about your parting shot (pardon the pun): “This bill threatens public safety in Montana”?

    That sounds like the same old “blood in the streets” fear-mongering that we saw in 1991 when Montana finally recognized the natural right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. Bad things did not happen in Montana or in the forty other states with “shall issue” laws. Are there regular shootouts in the 99.4% of Montana where there are already no restrictions on concealed carry? States as diverse as Alaska and Vermont have no restrictions on concealed carry by law-abiding citizens. No daily gun battles in their streets either.

    Finally, there was your assumption that all “those attorneys and law enforcement officers [can’t be] wrong.” Well, police administrators and attorneys make mistakes all the time. Many rank-and-file officers are supportive of citizens defending themselves. They know that when seconds count, they are only minutes away. So, why do law enforcement administrators and many prosecutors oppose self defense? In addition to wanting to go along with their funders in Helena, it’s mostly a turf issue. Administrators must defend their budgets and bureaucracies. If they can make you dependent on them for your protection, you will be more likely to vote them more money and power and allow them to grow their bureaucracies, the unavoidable goal of a manager in any bureaucracy. Not all law enforcement administrators oppose self defense, although those who do give the rest a bad reputation. You naively assume that these bureaucrats are all acting selflessly in your best interest. That’s a dangerous assumption you can make, but I choose not to trust them with my life.

  6. How about the Longstreth case? It was cited by HB 228 supporters in several committee meetings, public comments, and floor debate. The current burden-of-proof requirements resulted in Jody Longstreth of Belgrade being convicted of negligent homicide for killing her boyfriend/assailant in self defense. HB 228 fixes this.

    Give me a break. Her contention was that it was “self-defense”. She *stabbed* her live in; she didn’t shoot him. She was charged with deliberate homicide and it was reduced to negligent homicide because she had ample opportunity to do something about the abuse, including contacting authorities, before she decided to gut her boyfriend, and it was shown that she expressed these things but didn’t act until she took his life. This was argued all the way to the Montana Supreme Court on the technicality of changed conviction. And the SC still ruled against Longstreth.

    I should thank you, BaabSlaab, for pointing out exactly what is wrong with HB 228. It allows further defense for killers.

  7. J. Ashe

    It seems like the bill should be amended to allow victims of home invasion to EAT any intruders they kill in self defense.

  8. Jaci

    This bill takes the cake for kern’s dumbest idea yet, and trust me he’s full of dumb ideas. This bill is a disaster waiting to happen. Obviously he hasn’t considered the fact that shooting a real gun isn’t quite the same as shooting a nerf gun. Just imagine how many people would shoot themselves in the foot or ‘miss’ and shoot the wrong person because they’ve never shot a gun and have absolutely no clue what they’re doing. What a well thought out, perfectly logical bill kerns, I wouldn’t expect any less from you

  1. 1 HB 228 to be gutted in Senate sub-committee? | MT Pundit

    […] RAAWWWWRRRRR! […]

  2. 2 Quick Hit: HB 228 « 42nd Wave Feminist

    […] Quick Hit: HB 228 Filed under: legislation — by 42ndwavefeminist @ 10:02 Tags: guns, MT Politics I have it on good authority that HB 228 aka Kerns Crazy Gun Bill, is being amended & approved by the Senate and will be heading back to the House.  I’m not sure when.  4and20Blackbirds posts about it here. […]

  3. 3 Welcomes to the Wild Wild West, Montana « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] you feel threatened, that crazy Krayton Kerns gun bill from this past legislative session gives you carte blanche to go right ahead and pull that […]




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