Montana Governor Bullock Vetos Suppressor Bill SB 295

But signs another.

Hunting with Shotgun Suppressors
Hunting with Shotgun Suppressors
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Montana Shooting Sports Association

Missoula, MT –-( Governor Bullock vetoed MSSA's suppressor bill today, SB 295. But, he signed HB 250, which will allow for hunting with registered suppressors.

He says he vetoed HB 295 BECAUSE he signed HB 250.

The difference between the two is that the Governor's choice in bills now makes it illegal four (4) different ways to hunt with an unregistered suppressor, instead of the three (3) different ways it was illegal to hunt with an unregistered suppressor before he signed HB 250. Go figure.

I'm sure the hundreds, maybe thousands, of victims of illegal, unregistered suppressed-rifle hunting will be comforted to know that their victimizers may now be prosecuted not just under three felony criminal statutes, but under three felony criminal statute plus one misdemeanor statute (Truly, in the single case in Montana history where an illegal suppressor was used for poaching, the poacher was never charged by FWP or any other authorities with possession of an unregistered, illegal suppressor, but was only charged with poaching.)

The governor's veto message for SB 295 is below.

Dear President Barrett and Speaker Knudsen:

Today I signed House Bill 250, entitled “AN ACT CLARIFYING THAT SOUND REDUCTION DEVICES MAYBE USED ON FIREARMS WHILE HUNTING WILDLIFE; AMENDING SECTION 87-6-401, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.” When this bill first came to my office, I offered amendments that made the use of a suppressor on a firearm lawful while hunting in Montana. These amendments received strong bipartisan support in the legislature, and with my signature today HB 250 is now law.

In accordance with the power vested in me as Governor by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Montana, I do hereby veto Senate Bill 295 (SB 295), “AN ACT ELIMINATING A STATE LIMIT ATION ON THE USE OF SOUND REDUCTION DEVICES ON FIREARMS; AMENDING SECTIONS 87-]-201, 87-1-301, AND 87-6-401, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE. As a result of my action today on HB 250, this bill is not necessary. For this reason, I veto SB 295

The bottom line is that Montana will now allow hunting with ATF-registered suppressors. HB 250 is effective as of today.

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:

  • 10 thoughts on “Montana Governor Bullock Vetos Suppressor Bill SB 295

    1. Meanwhile in Illinois, the Hick from Harrisburg Rep. Brandon Phelps sponsored HB433 to bring suppressors to the Land of Lincoln.
      Phelps and his pet rat NRA contract lobbyist Todd Vandermyde worked hard to sell out everyone in IL with Duty to Inform w/ criminal penalties, plus an UNLIMITED state and federal privacy waiver in Phelps carry bill.

      Do we see Phelps and Vandermyde trying to abolish the unelected Star Chamber Concealed Carry Review Board?
      “one commissioner with at least 5 years of service as a federal judge; 2 commissioners with at least 5 years of
      experience serving as an attorney with the United States Department of Justice; 3 commissioners with at least 5 years of experience as a federal agent or employee with investigative experience or duties related to criminal justice under the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, or Federal Bureau of Investigation; and one member with at least 5 years of experience as a licensed physician or clinical psychologist with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.”

      Hey, no problem, just sign the UNLIMITED state and federal privacy waiver, and hope no cops object to your app. The loser hicks haven’t figured out that Phelps and Vandermyde are their worst enemies. Besides, the “good guys” have “nothing to hide.” Send in your NRA dues, Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham at NRA/ILA need your money.

    2. I’m an avid hunter and sportsmen, but I want to know when someone is hunting on my property.Suppressors would make that difficult or impossible. I’m all for using suppressors at the shooting range though.

      1. Have you ever even shot a suppressed weapon, especially a rifle? They are still freaking loud. Hearing safe usually, but loud. A 30db suppressor drops a supersonic 5.56 down to about the sound level of a jet taking off. You would still hear someone shooting, just your ear wouldn’t bleed afterwards. If someone is hunting subsonic, they are basically pistol or bowhunting in terms of range. You don’t hear arrows either. Maybe you’d like them to have speakers attached to deafen everyone around them?

    3. I’m still trying to wrap my head around why suppressors are illegal at all. They don’t reduce the sound to “pfft” but reduce the dB significantly, making it more “sound safe” for everyone. Especially for hunters it makes sense because we’re using our ears to sense our prey and to keep an ear out for others and even for danger sounds (bear, someone yelling ‘Help’, etc.) as much as anything, so putting in earplugs is an anti-safety measure in many ways.

      And it prices a piece of safety equipment out of the reach of many and, um, “suppresses” innovation.

      I know, I know…they look scary; they are portrayed in movies as silent. And so on. In other words, just another in the Fraudulent Claims of the Gun Grabber.

    4. Having come close to being killed, because some guy hunting with a Fully-Automatic Suppressed AK. Doesn’t sound like a good thing.

      1. Michael, are you expressing some kind of fact or is this just wishful thinking?
        I do not believe “fully-automatic” weapons are legal for hunting even in Montana.

      2. Your comment has my BS meter pegged all the way in the red as anti-gun troll. If I’m wrong please provide dated, location, police report number and law enforcement agency contacted.

      3. I agree with you Michael, but not for the same reason.There is this thing called fair chase that was established many years ago because commercial hunters had just about wiped out everything you hunt.Fully automatic weapons would destroy too much meat. This is just my opinion for what its worth.

    5. I don’t know what you people in Montana are smokin’, but if you boneheads are just gonna turn yourselves into another New Jersey or Mexifornia, by putting these moron political opportunists / quasi-communists in office, then we might as well right you guys off now.

      1. Silencers are the dumbest bill to pass. Why wouldn’t anyone recreating outdoors want to know where the shooting is coming from. I am an avid hunter, reloader, CAS shooter, skier, horseman, and runner/hiker. I live in an area where shooters regularly shoot up to 200- 300 rounds on an weekend, or just a few hours, around my place. Don’t I have the right to be safe from sign shooters and generally some of the shooters who really need an IQ test before shooting [you know the types: shooting over hills, taking “sound” shots. etc.]. If you’ve never been shot at, you’ll have a better chance now that you won’t hear it coming! Way to go MSSA!

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