Montana Guv Bullock (Democrat) vetoed HB-325, a preemption Bill to rein in errant cities (Missoula) who want to pass their own gun-control statutes in contravention of the current statewide preemption law in MT. The legislature is on to Bullock's anti-gun stand, so they passed HB-357 concurrently, so that if HB-325 were vetoed, then the issue would go on the 2020 statewide ballot for a vote by the citizens of MT. Good play by the legislature, and 2 thumbs down to the Guv. This all happened because a judge sympathetic to gun-control OK'd Missoula's unlawful preemptions, weakening current law.
In the Governor’s veto letter, Bullock makes the preposterous implication that HB 325 and HB 357 would allow “felons and the mentally ill” to carry firearms in public. Regardless of state or local laws, such persons are already prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms, let alone carrying them in public. Further, Bullock asserts that HB 325 and 357 would end local decision-making about concealed weapons and that such is NOT good policy. He takes this position because, like the anti-gun local officials who impose greater restrictions on law-abiding citizens than are found in state law, Bullock naively believes that criminals will obey gun control laws. Governor Bullock resorts to fearmongering by ending his veto letter with the warning that HB 325 eliminates “local control over whether the mentally ill may bring guns into schools.” Such fearmongering demonstrates how disingenuous this Governor really is. He knows that federal law already restricts the possession of firearms in schools and school zones, with persons who have been adjudicated as mentally ill being prohibited from legally possessing firearms in any place, AND that this bill does not change the fact that local school district trustees already have the authority to restrict who can possess firearms in schools.