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Author Topic: MSSA 2009 continued  (Read 2793 times)

Basil Fishbone

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MSSA 2009 continued
« on: January 02, 2010, 06:34:33 pm »

I just noticed... :)  I left this off the front of this ... Basil 

MSSA ...
 From: Gary Marbut-MSSA <>

More MFFAs.  In April and May, other states began
introducing clones of the MFFA; Texas, Alaska, South Carolina and Minnesota.

Complaint about me.  In May, Helena Mayor and
paid lobbyist for the Montana Sheriffs and Peace
Officers Association Jim Smith filed a Complaint
against me with the Commissioner of Political
Practices, whining that he'd been bested on HB
228 because of unfair playing conditions - that I
wasn't registered as a lobbyist with the
responded to the Complaint that Smith was just
sissy and a sore loser, and that I was not
required by Montana law to register since I was
not paid for the effort as Smith was - First
Amendment stuff.  That Complaint is still pending
- the CPP has not yet acted on it.

Rifle matches.  From April through October, MSSA
put on long-range, field, precision rifle matches
near Potomac, Montana.  These are fundraisers for
the MSSA Political Committee, our federal
political action committee that accumulates funds
for involvement in elections.  They are also
challenging matches and a LOT of fun.  Since
there are no trophies or prizes, the matches are
not highly competitive.  They are more a chance
to play with rifles at distance, under organized
and safe circumstances, and to learn about long
range shooting.  There is a Hunter Class with 41
steel targets downrange between 100 and 300 yards
from the shooting positions, and there is a
Precision Class with 65 steel targets downrange
between 300 and 1,000 yards.  All shooting is
done under field conditions.  We will be doing
the match again in 2010 on the third Saturday of
each month, beginning in April.  See the
<>Website for more detail.

Lawsuit.  MSSA had planned to file a lawsuit in
federal court to validate the principles of the
MFFA, the lawsuit to be filed on the day HB 246
became effective - October 1st.  I sent a lot of
time in the spring and over the summer raveling
all the loose ends necessary to launch this
litigation.  I needed to locate attorneys who I
trusted to do the right sort of job with the
litigation, get them working together, and begin
planning the litigation strategy.  I had a lot of
individual conversations with attorneys and a
couple of conference calls to discuss the affair.

No Pin Shoot.  MSSA did not hold its annual
Bowling Pin Shoot in Missoula in July, the first
time in 26 years.  It had become too much
administrative hassle for me with too few people
turning out to shoot pins and raise funds for MSSA.

MFFA coverage.  There was a lot of national
coverage of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act,
including in Time, the Washington Times, L.A.
Times, CBS News, Fox News, CNN, the Associated
Press and scores or hundreds of firearms-related
Internet blogs.  In Spring and Summer I did
scores of interviews and talk shows about the FFA
concept and movement.  There are links to many of
these articles on the <>FFA Website.

Speaking.  In July, I attended and spoke at
events in Eureka and Polson where Sheriff Richard
Mack also spoke, delivering his power-to-the-elected-sheriff message.

Oppose Sotomayor.  In July MSSA also took a
position in opposition to the confirmation of
Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a justice of the U.S.
Supreme Court.  We communicated this opposition
to our U.S. senators Baucus and Tester.  Both
voted for her confirmation and both assured us
that Sotomayor has the highest respect for the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  We'll see.  Don't hold your breath.

Ammunition shortage.  In July, an article I'd
written about the nationwide ammunition shortage
was printed in Front Sight magazine.  I
circulated a copy of that article to the MSSA email list.

BATFE and the MFFA.  Also in July, the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent an
letter to all federally-licensed dealers in
Montana warning them to not attempt to make the
items authorized under the Montana Firearms
Freedom Act.  The BATFE warned FFLs that making
such items could result in felony prosecutions for violation of federal laws.  Because of the nationwide interest in
the Firearm Freedom Act movement, in July we
started the
Website to track and pool information about the FFA movement.

Wolf hunting.  In August, Idaho announced that
its Fall wolf hunt would be a go.  One stalwart
Idaho F&G Commissioner told the media that there
definitely would be a wolf in Idaho in the Fall -
the only question remaining is whether it would
be a legal or illegal wolf hunt.

Trapping ban.  In August, MSSA submitted official
comment on the proposed initiative to ban
trapping in Montana, saying that the initiative,
even if approved by voters, would be
unconstitutional because it would violate the
right to "harvest wild fish and game animals"
that MSSA and Montana voters had put into the Montana Constitution.

SAF and MSSA partner.  In August, MSSA announced
its strategic partnership with the Second
Amendment Foundation to litigate the Montana Firearms Freedom Act.

Kennedy.  In August, virulently anti-gun
Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy went to his
reward (whatever that may be).  His passing was
mourned by many, and also not mourned by many.

CNN and MFFA.  In September, CNN finally aired
its story about the Montana Firearms Freedom
Act.  A link to the YouTube video of that show is
available from the

Wolf hunts on!  Early in September federal Judge
Molloy ruled that the Montana and Idaho wolf
hunts would not be barred by the federal court.

GRPC.  In late September I attended the annual
Grass Roots Policy Conference held this year in
St. Louis and sponsored by the Second Amendment
Foundation.  At that conference I was presented
with an award for Grass Roots Activist of the
Year.  There was a LOT of discussion at the GRPC
about what is being done around the Nation to
advance the cause of gun owners.  I spoke to the gathering about the MFFA.

Olofson case.  In late September, MSSA determined
to submit an amicus brief in the Olofson case
being appealed to the U.S. Supreme
Court.  Olofson had an AR15 that would double
(fire two rounds with one trigger pull) under
certain conditions.  He also loaned the rifle to
an acquaintance.  He was charged by the U.S. with
illegal possession and illegal transfer of a
machine gun.  Our position with the SC was that
mechanical devices all fail eventually, semi-auto
rifles also occasionally fail to work properly,
doubling is one common type of failure, and
Olofson was allowed no safe harbor - no legal
remedy to correct this problem.  If Olofson had
taken his AR immediately to a gunsmith for repair
the first time it doubled, he could still have
been charged with illegal possession and illegal
transfer of a machine gun.  Unfortunately, the SC
declined to hear the Olofson case on appeal.

MFFA suit filed.  On October 1st, MSSA and SAF
filed the long-promised lawsuit in federal court
in Missoula to validate the principles of the
Montana Firearms Freedom Act.  Quentin Rhoades of
Missoula is the lead attorney on the MSSA legal
team, buttressed by another attorney in Montana
and four other attorneys in other
states.  October first is the date when Montana
HB 246 became effective.  MSSA had long planned
to file this suit so the principles of the MFFA
could be argued in a well-conceived,
well-structured and well-planned lawsuit.  We
also wished to avoid having some Montanan charged
criminally by the feds for making an MFFA item in
theoretical violation of federal law.  That could
also have resulted in some dog of a legal case,
with a bad set of facts, argued by an unprepared
public defender, and having the MFFA declared
void by a federal judge simply because of a bad
case.  Imagine an illegal immigrant who makes a
zip gun and uses it to injure an innocent person,
but whose public defender argues that the person
cannot be charged with illegal manufacture of a
firearm because of the MFFA.  We do NOT want the
validity of the MFFA decided in that sort of case.

Hardin.  The business with the Hardin jail and
the con artist who wanted to run it and the
proposed Hardin police force was much in the
news.  MSSA asked the Montana Sheriffs and Peace
Officers Association to explore why the elected
sheriff was not involved in interdicting this fiasco.

More MFFA clones.  More states continued to
introduce clones of the Montana Firearms Freedom
Act throughout the Fall and Winter.  In November,
MSSA began actively soliciting amicus parties to weigh in on our lawsuit.

MHRN fools.  November also saw the Montana "Human
Rights" Network taking potshots in op-eds at
Sheriff Mack and characterizing him as a
dangerous character.  I had a
published in the Helena Independent Record
explaining that MHRN gets things wrong most of
the time, that they are buffoons, and than nobody takes them seriously.

Prairie Dogs.  In December the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife service declined to list Prairie Dogs as
an endangered species, despite the petition to do
so from the enviro-wackos who claim that untold
millions of PDs are on the verge of
extinction.  MSSA had submitted comment on the
petition to list showing the fallacies of the
arguments to list.  We win, for now.

WCSM and MFFA.  In mid-December the Weapons
Collectors Society of Montana voted to submit an
amicus brief in MSSA's lawsuit over the Montana
Firearms Freedom Act.  The Montana Rifle and
Pistol Association, the NRA State Association, won't even think about it.

Front Sight.  In late December my son Ty and I
attended a four-day defensive handgun class at
the <>Front Sight
Firearms Training Institute in Nevada, to
evaluate Front Sight and to pave the way to
recommend Front Sight's program and
facilities.  You figure out if what FS offers is
affordable, but the staff, instruction and facilities are great.

That's enough for one year.

MSSA wishes you a prosperous and successful new year.

*We also wish you'd join MSSA if you're not
already a member - see the <>MSSA Website.

We also encourage you to forward this email to
all of your friends, so they can see how much
MSSA does for them and what a great deal it is to
be an <>MSSA member.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 09:10:38 pm by Basil Fishbone »

Basil Fishbone

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Re: MSSA 2009 continued
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 02:32:40 pm »

Followup - MSSA 2009 in review
 From: Gary Marbut-MSSA <>
Dear MSSA Friends,

One error and at least three omissions in the previous writeup of
MSSA activities during 2009:

1.  The national conference I attended in October was the Gun Rights
Policy Conference sponsored by the Second Amendment Foundation, not
the "Grass Roots Policy Conference" as I mistyped (hey, the "GRPC"
was still right).

2.  MSSA's privacy lawsuit over SSNs to hunt and fish is now before
the Montana Supreme Court.  Thanks to attorney Quentin Rhoades of
Missoula for taking on this lawsuit.  MSSA claims that constitutional
rights are not for sale, and that the State of Montana should not be
compromising the Right to Privacy the people have reserved to
themselves in the Montana Constitution by requiring SSNs to hunt and
fish.  The State claims that it needs this compromise in citizen
privacy in order to remain eligible for federal funding to locate and
pursue parents delinquent in child support payments.  The State's
argument is basically:  Yes, constitutional rights are for sale if
the price is right - Montanans will suffer more from loss of federal
funds than from loss of privacy.  The district court found in favor
of the State.  Who knows what the Montana Supreme Court will do with this.

3.  I've also spoken twice at meetings of Celebrating Conservatism, a
very active group in Ravalli County (Hamilton).

4.  MSSA is working with a Montana fundraising entity to raise
much-needed funds for MSSA.  If you have received a call from these
folks, it is NOT because MSSA has released the MSSA membership
list.  We absolutely do not do that.  It is because your name came up
as a likely prospect from some other source.  So far, this
fundraising effort is helping the MSSA treasury, but not bringing in
boatloads of cash.

In re item # 4, the season is coming up when MSSA will desperately
need funds in our Political Committee account for political
action.  We must by law keep these funds separate from our general
account.  We cannot accept corporate checks for this account.  And,
for any donations over $250, we must report the name, mail address,
occupation and employer of the donor.  Please make a check payable to
MSSA PC, and mail to:

P.O. Box 4924
Missoula, Montana 59806

Also, write "donation" in the memo line so we don't think you're
renewing your MSSA membership.

Thanks loads and Happy New Year.

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana

Basil Fishbone

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Re: MSSA 2009 continued
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 03:23:47 pm »

MSSA - 2009 in review - Join MSSA
 From: Gary Marbut-MSSA <>
Dear MSSA Friends,

In previous MSSA Annual Meetings, we've spent a lot of time going
over an Annual Report of what MSSA has accomplished and been involved
in during the past year.

To avoid that consumption of time at the Annual Meeting, I have
written about MSSA 2009 activities and have posted that at:

Please review this if you are curious about what MSSA has been doing
for Montana gun owners and hunters in the past year.

MSSA membership.  Many Montana gun owners and hunters are receiving
the benefits of MSSA's work, but are not members of MSSA.  MSSA has
the national reputation for being the most effective state-level
pro-gun organization in the U.S., perhaps in the World.  In the past
25 years, MSSA has gotten 54 pro-gun and pro-hunting bills through
the Montana Legislature, all supporting your RKBA and the right to
hunt in Montana.  See some of our successes

MSSA membership is a GREAT investment.  And, we are only as strong as
our membership.  If you are NOT a member, you should join.  Join today!

You can download a mailable membership form from:

We're working for you.  Help us out with your support by becoming a member!

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, president
Montana Shooting Sports Association
author, Gun Laws of Montana
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