Pro Gun Montanans Offer A New Referendum – ‘Gun Owners Access To Justice Act’

Gun Owners Access To Justice Act
Gun Owners Access To Justice Act
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Montana Shooting Sports Association

Missoula, MT –-( Representative Matthew Monforton, a gun-friendly attorney from Bozeman, has introduced HB 598.

This bill is for a statutory referendum, which will require only 50%+1 of each House and Senate to go on the ballot for a vote of the people.

HB 598 will accomplish two things: 1) require that any infringements on the fundamental right to keep and bear arms must pass the highest level of judicial scrutiny to survive, and 2) will award court costs and attorney fees to anyone who’s rights are infringed and who sues and wins the lawsuit.

This is really big! This bill is not on the MSSA Legislative Agenda for the 2015 session, but MSSA is adopting it. It’s a super idea that could have very positive consequences for the RKBA in Montana.

HB 598 has been scheduled for a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee next Friday, 3/13. It’s not yet time to send messages to committee members asking for support. Soon – maybe Wednesday or Thursday.

There are two more bills on the MSSA legislative agenda that are yet to be introduced. I’ll let you know. Stay tuned …

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

About Montana Shooting Sports Association:MSSA is the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners. Visit:

  • 4 thoughts on “Pro Gun Montanans Offer A New Referendum – ‘Gun Owners Access To Justice Act’

    1. All this bill will do is “legalize” infringements. It’s already in the Constitution, the highest law of the land, that THE PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. So now, it’s ok to infringe, if the court says it is? Gee, people. Do you all have two brain cells to rub together? Yes? Then use them. This is ludicrous.

      1. I made the same remark and got bashed because I supposedly didn’t know what I was talking about. Who ever it is that leaves comments representing MSSA was a real ahole, make the assoc. look bad.

    2. You guys have a basic misconception about the purpose and effect of this proposal.
      This does not “legalize” infringement, it makes it clear that the standard of proof that must be met for those supporting gun control laws is the most stringent possible – Strict Scrutiny. Under the provisions of this proposal, rather than government attorneys saying; “Guns are dangerous, so it’s in the public interest for us to limit magazine capacity, restrict ‘military features,’ ban bullets made out of steel, etc., to protect the public,” and a judge just saying; “Gee, sounds reasonable to me.” Under this proposal, the judge must always employ the legal standard of “Strict Scrutiny,” which means that the state must prove that the law they are defending does indeed accomplish their goal of making people safer, and that it does it in the least intrusive or restrictive way possible, and that there is no other way to achieve the same types of protections.
      Whether you like it or not, the reality is that whatever laws a judge says are okay, are enforceable until a higher court says that judge was mistaken. In Heller, the Supremes left the door open for judges to apply lesser levels of proof to validate a gun law. They suggested Strict Scrutiny, but did not come out and require it. So judges have been using those less stringent standards as justification to support unconstitutional laws.
      By absolutely requiring that Strict Scrutiny be the standard they must use, this takes away much of the leeway judges now have. By automatically awarding attorneys’ fees and court costs, it relieves much of the risk of initiating a lawsuit against a bad law, and creates some penalty to the government defending a bad law.
      In short, what this proposal does is make it easier to win a challenge to an unconstitutional law, and harder for government lawyers to defend an unconstitutional law. This is a good thing and should be solidly supported by gun owners and rights supporters.

    3. This bill is a PRO Second Amendment bill! I wish my fellow gun owners would read the bill before they go off on tangents about these great bills!
      HB 598 makes it HARDER for the govt to infringe on our RKBA. This legislation was not on the MSSA’s original legislative issues list for 2015, but has been adopted by the MSSA because it’s such a GREAT RKBA bill!
      Please, friends, do your homework. Law abiding gun owners NEED this!

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