We have some concerning news!
House Bill 674, a bill creating an enhanced concealed weapon permit, is quickly moving through the House and is scheduled for hearing in the (H) Appropriations committee this Friday, March 17th.
The stated purpose of this bill is to obtain reciprocity for Montana with five states (Washington, Minnesota, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Delaware) that currently do not recognize concealed weapon permits issued to persons under the age of 21.
This new “enhanced” permit has been solicited, introduced, and is now being pushed as a pro-Second Amendment bill that recognizes the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms as they travel about the country. But this is simply not true!
Whether intentional or through ignorance of a true understanding of the Second Amendment and the right it protects, those behind House Bill 674 are championing anti-gun rights legislation under the guise of a pro-Second Amendment bill!
House Bill 674 not only eliminates the right of a Montana citizens, 18 to 20 years of age, to carry a concealed firearm under this “enhanced” permit but also infringes upon the rights of all Montana citizens by further entrenching an unconstitutional system whereby law-abiding gun owners are forced to beg permission from government to exercise their God-given rights.
That is why we need you to Take Action to tell the House Appropriations Committee to Oppose House Bill 674!
The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right that is neither granted by government nor dependent on government for its existence; but is a pre-existing God-given right, older than all constitutions and enjoyed by all people equally.
This pre-existing right was codified under the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1791, and again under the constitution of the territory of Montana in 1884 (and eventually the State of Montana), reserving to the people their individual right to keep and bear arms free from government interference.
This understanding of the right to keep and bear arms was affirmed by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, holding that the Second Amendment reserves to individuals the fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. And most recently in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, the Court held that laws regulating the ownership and carrying of firearms must be consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding at the time of ratification.
Laws prohibiting the concealed carrying of handguns without a permit, especially those that completely ban law-abiding individuals between the ages of 18 and 20, are not consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding, and thus, infringe on the peoples’ right to keep and bear arms.
The Montana Legislature knows this to be true and, in fact, expressly declared it to be true when permitless carry became law in Montana:
“It is the intent of the legislature to reduce or remove provisions of law that limit or prohibit the ability of citizens to defend themselves by restricting with prior restraint the right to keep or bear arms that the people have reserved to themselves in the Montana constitution, and to further establish that the right to defense of a person’s life, liberty, or property is a fundamental right.”
Unfortunately, every single member of the House who voted in favor of permitless carry, and to the process of restoring the right of the people to keep and bear arms, have now voted in favor of House Bill 674.
So insidious are the arguments of the proponents of this bill that they have thus far swayed the very individuals who so recently championed the rights of the people.
But, it is not too late!
There is still time to let your representatives know that the people of Montana are absolutely opposed to any bill that further erodes their God-given rights, especially a bill that does so in the name of Second Amendment reciprocity with states that do not respect the right of all the people of Montana to keep and bear arms.
GOA & MSSA are presenting a unified front in support of these critical pieces of pro-freedom legislation so that Montana remains a Free State!
Patriots, please Take Action to send a respectful message demanding that the House Appropriations Committee hold the line and defend your right to keep and bear arms by opposing House Bill 674!