GUEST POST: Protecting 2nd Amendment Goes Hand-in-Hand with Common Sense Measures that Keep Us All Safe

by Pamela Owen, Moms Demand Action

As a Montanan, wife of a gun owner, proud believer in Montana’s outdoor heritage, and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, I cannot sit on the sidelines during this legislative session. Our elected leaders are considering a package of dangerous bills that would not only roll back our current, common-sense permitting requirements, but would also allow guns in sensitive places like bars and college campuses. These reckless bills tear at the fabric of our sensible gun laws. Instead of proposing laws that would make our families and communities safer, these bills’ sponsors would put us all at risk.

Numerous groups have spoken out against these bills, including the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, Montana Police Protective Association, Montana Human Rights Network, Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America.

You have to wonder: Considering the strong opposition, who is really pushing this agenda? We must speak out and makes e sure our voices are heard.

Let’s start with House Bill 298 and HB 533. Both bills would dismantle Montana’s current concealed carry permit system. If passed and signed into law, these pieces of legislation would allow individuals without any prior training and those who have been convicted of weapons offenses to carry concealed loaded handguns in public. There will also no longer be a way for law enforcement to prevent people who exhibited dangerous behavior from carrying loaded hidden guns in public. That means our communities—our streets, our malls, and our farmers’ markets—could be at risk. I believe Montana’s sheriffs know best when it comes to protecting the communities they serve. People should continue to receive firearm training before they carry concealed loaded handguns in public. It’s just common sense.

Next up we have SB 143. This bill would force public colleges and universities to allow the concealed carry of loaded handguns on campuses across our state. Currently, public colleges and universities have the authority to decide whether they want to allow guns on campus, but SB 143 would revoke their authority to make this very critical public safety decision. Our legislators are pushing this bill despite widespread opposition from the people who would be affected the most. Indeed, 78% of students, 95% of college presidents, and 89% of police chiefs reject campus carry.

Schools have consistently opted against campus carry, and it’s currently not allowed anywhere in the state. I would love my kids to attend the same college their parents did, but I won’t sacrifice their safety. College life is full of risk factors like alcohol and drug abuse. Our young people are making impulsive decisions, and we need to ensure that university officials have the tools to protect them.

We should also consider the financial implications of this bill. In the first year after Idaho passed similar legislation in 2014, the necessary security upgrades have cost $3.7 million for five Idaho schools. Our schools are routinely suffering from budget shortfalls, and should not be asked to shoulder this new expense.

Our elected leaders should support legislation that makes our families and communities safer—not laws that would put us at risk. Protecting our Second Amendment rights goes hand-in-hand with common sense measures that keep us all safe. As a mother, as a Montanan, as a community member, I ask you to raise your voice and speak out against these senseless bills.

To speak out against these dangerous bills, please click on the link below.

To learn more about Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, go to



13 Comments on "GUEST POST: Protecting 2nd Amendment Goes Hand-in-Hand with Common Sense Measures that Keep Us All Safe"

  1. Back in the “good old days” of the “Wild West,” cowboys were often required to check their firearms with the Sheriff when they came to town and the popular image of drunk cowboys shooting up a town was followed by drunk cowboys thrown in jail and fined and innocent people and/or animals being killed or injured.

    Gun nuts live in a fantasy past that never existed. Next door to those people who think “Father Knows Best” was a documentary live.

  2. The 2nd Amendment is clear and concise. We don’t need “Victim Disarmament” laws that the writer suggests. Sensible gun laws, sounds like those folks in the south who also thought they had sensible laws.

    • T%he Second Amendment is very complex. It is only simple, if one is a “constitutional textualist”. If one bothers to look at the many pieces of legislation that were passed early in our history, one gets a very different answer.
      Then, today, people believe that the 2nd Amendment is to protect the people from the Government. But, if they get asked the obvious question, “Who was the first president to call up the militia/national guard and for what reason?”, one gets blanks stares or deflection attempts. The answer does not fit there fictitious beliefs.

      • George Washington was the first, and only President to use the military against us citizens. That happened a mere three years after the Constitution was ratified, in response to the Whisky Rebellion. The rebellion happened mainly because Pennsylvania had an at-large district, where the city of Philadelphia drown out the majority votes of the rest of the state. The Rebellion ended without bloodshed, by concessions by Pennsylvania and the Federal Government, to address the grievances of the rebels, by changing Pennsylvania’s at-large representation, to district based representation, giving the “rebels” the representation that the deserved.

        Our right to bear arms, has been used numerous times throughout our history, to gain more rights for us citizens. From the Whiskey Rebellion which effectively ended at-large representation, to the labor struggles that used weapons to give us our labor laws, like child labor laws, and an 8 hour work day.

        The first laws against the 2nd Amendment, were specifically put in place to restrict black people and other minorities from possessing weapons, because our government knew how much power they yield. Maybe if Gabriel Prosser had more access to guns, and white abolitionists who wanted to arm them for their freedoms, didn’t have restrictions carrying the penalty of death placed on them, slavery would have ended decades prior.

  3. The National Gun Owners Alliance is among those pushing the agenda. This dark money group rewards candidates who sign its Gun Rights Leadership Pledge with bulk mailers attacking their opponent. I received such a mailer the day before the 2014 general election.

  4. Yep, gotta stop those violent, drunken college punks from slaughtering each other. Good idea.

    • The problem arises when they kill or injure the innocent bystander. Like the small children who are shot by incompetent parents, bystanders need to be taken into consideration.

  5. Let’s face it, there are a lot of legislators who are afraid that groups like Gary Marbut’s MSSA will brand them “anti-gun” and therefore advance these extreme measures. Time to grow a spine and just say “no” to more guns in the hands of unstable people in unsuitable places.

    P.S. This from a NY Times story about the man who recently shot and killed three North Carolina University students:

    “He growled that they had woken up his wife, lifting his shirt to reveal a holstered gun. The students did not call the police, but there was little the authorities could have done if they had. Mr. Hicks had a CONCEALED-CARRY PERMIT.” (Emphasis added)

    • Man, if you want to see guns in the hands of unstable people in unsuitable places, go see American Sniper. One of the most successful serial killers of all time is portrayed there.

  6. Not sure why the cowgirl would post this, I might have been mistaken that this was a blog for liberal views, not a stage for conservative views.

    Being a Liberal, we like to see our rights expand. Pamela only looks to conserve the status quo, and actually put more restrictions on our rights. The facts are, that Pamela looks to further restrict our rights, that our progressive friends in California, Vermont, Washington, and Maryland have been able to enjoy for years by letting our children have a right to protect themselves while at a school, where violence can and will happen. She wants us to go further to the right of our progressive friends in Vermont, who are trying to create single payer healthcare.

    I thought we didn’t want government to decide who gets to exercise a right, and fight for the rights of all of our friends, for such things as gay marriage. So, why are we now advocating conservative policies, by wanting to not only conserve the status quo we have, but restrict our rights even more.

    I must have been mistaken, this isn’t a liberal blog, this is only a Republican blog, dedicated to only bashing the further right Conservatives, while advocating for Conservative policies. I’m ashamed.

    • Huh? Arming kids is going to cut down on violence? You lost me there, Marie. And I think that the right to be safe and secure on a gun-free campus trumps the right of students to pack heat, IMHO.

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