Gun Rights Advocates Await Governor Bullock’s Action on HB 325
The Missoula Shooting Sports Association, in a press release on Monday, expressed great interest in the disposition of House Bill 325, the MSSA’s own ‘Fix Missoula’ bill.
MSSA President Gary Marbut said the bill would amend the Montana "preemption law" at 45-8-351 to prevent ongoing abuse of the law that limits all local government's power to regulate firearms - to prevent a patchwork of gun control laws across Montana.
“There is a pair of identical bills involved,” said Marbut. “House Bill 325 has gone to the Governor for his signature however there is a companion bill, House Bill 357 that does not go to the Governor. It is to put the same measure on the ballot if the Governor should veto House Bill 325.”
Marbut said the two bills present a difficult choice for the Democrat Governor who may have higher political aspirations down the line.
“The Governor will have a hard choice to make about whether he wants to let this bill become law or even sign it and maybe because he has political ambitions and he needs some kind of a pro-gun trophy on his wall for whatever his future political ambitions may be.”
Marbut said the situation is a win-win for gun owners and Second Amendment proponents throughout the state.
“It’s definitely a win-win situation,” he said. “Bullock may allow HB 325 to become law without his signature, or he may sign it. If he vetoes it, then HB 357 will go to the polls, and if he wants to run for election as something like the Montana seat in the U.S. Senate in 2020, then he will probably be reluctant to have that HB 357 on the ballot because it will just draw out all the gun supporters to vote for it.”
According to the MSSA press release, Marbut writes that Bullock formed an ‘exploratory committee’ to determine his chances for the 2020 Democrat Presidential nomination.
‘Insiders in Helena say this exploratory committee was only formed to allow Bullock to raise funds nationally for a more likely race to unseat Steve Daines from his Montana seat in the US Senate, also up for reelection in 2020. Democrats on the national scene would dearly like to take back control of the U.S. Senate, and the seat Senator Daines occupies from Montana will be selected for a possible turnover, and a relatively cheap seat to buy. For that, Democrats need a viable candidate. One suspects Bullock will be told by national Democrats to forget stirring the already murky water of aspirations for a presidential ticket, and to stay home and use his popularity to make a credible run at Daines's seat.’