March 2, 2024

Let’s Realign the Montana Constitution with the Original Intent of the Second Amendment!

Take Action to Tell the House Judiciary Committee Report House Bill 551!

Dear First Name,

The “right to keep and bear arms” within the Montana State Constitution has been in need of realignment with the original intent as set forth by the Framers.’

The President of The Montana Shooting Sports Association, Gary Marbut, provides us with a briefing on the proposed constitutional referenda:

“In 1884, when first adopted, this provision [Article II, Section XII] was copied almost entirely from the Missouri Constitution of 1875, which read:

That the right of no citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereto legally summoned, shall be called into question; but nothing herein contained is intended to justify the practice of wearing concealed weapons. Art. II, § 17.

House Bill 551 creates a constitutional referendum to offer voters the opportunity to remove from the Montana Constitution that 1884 Missouri-copied language that says, ‘but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.’ It is worth noting that Missouri has removed this restriction from the Missouri Constitution.”

Clearly, this language is inconsistent with text, history, and tradition at the time of the ratification of the Second Amendment. Indeed, it was not an offense under the law of most States to bear peaceably concealed arms in public. However, in the immediate post-Civil War era, it was common for State and Local governments to make it difficult for, if not outright prohibit, racial minorities, such as newly freed black Americans, aboriginals, recent immigrants such as the Chinese and Irish, as well as others, to be legally armed. The exclusion of concealed carry of arms from the right to keep and bear arms is consistent with and has narrow roots in the ethnic discrimination that was found within the culture of 1884 America.

H.B. 551 seeks to reject the arbitrary and ethnically derogatory language of that bygone era.

The Founders envisioned the right to self-defence and its corollaries, such as the right to hunt, to be liberties enjoyed by all people equally. This right was not only identified by the Founders of our Great Nation as a core liberty that is fundamental to our humanity, but also, because of its essential importance as the means to secure the trinity of liberties, they prudently enumerated it within the Constitution. We must not fail to remember that the Second Amendment protects the liberties of all Americans; and in a truly free society, individuals will, at times, conduct themselves in an unfortunate manner. Hence, Thomas Jefferson’s preference for the “tempestuous seas of liberty” over the “calm of despotism.”

GOA & MSSA are presenting a unified front in support of these critical pieces of pro-freedom legislation so that Montana remains a Free State!

H.B. 551 is being heard on TOMORROW in the State House Judiciary Committee at 8:00 AM!

Patriots, please try to attend each hearing in person.

If you are unable to attend the hearings, please take action to submit your supporting statement for this important constitutional referendum.

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