For US Senate, US House, Governor, and Attorney
General Candidates, CLICK HERE.
Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Primary Election, 2020
Dear MSSA Members,
It has become much more complicated for anyone to become involved in
the process of selecting and recommending quality candidates for
public office. Given new laws, extensive new regulations
implementing various laws, court decisions, and new legal theories
about what is enforceable and needs enforcement, the path of conduct
that is safe from enforcement action has become very narrow and
Therefore, I am being deliberately VERY careful about how I express
my preferences for candidates in the 2020 Primary Election.
First, this is a communication to MSSA members, a First
Amendment-protected exercise of Freedom of Association, Freedom of
Expression, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of the Press, also
protected from government regulation by various sections of Article
II of the Montana Constitution.
Second, this is a private and personal effort of mine, with no
support or payment from any corporation.
Third, no funds are expended to send the email advising MSSA members
of this page or to post this page (beyond a deminimis expenditure
estimated on the order of 5/100ths of one cent [$.0005] - see Canyon
Ferry Road Baptist Church of East Helena, Inc. v. Unsworth.)
Fourth, no candidates endorsed here have solicited an endorsement or
promised anything in return for an endorsement. Conversely, I
have not asked anything specific of candidates in return for an
endorsement or promised anything to any endorsed candidates. I
have only evaluated the level of interest of candidates in issues of
interest to gun owners from the candidates' voting records, returned
and other available information.
Fifth, no copyright is asserted over the material contained here and
anyone is welcome to accurately copy, reprint, repost, or recite any
part or all of the information contained here, including candidates
for public office, endorsed or not. Although this information
is intended primarily for MSSA members, it is considered to be in
the public domain upon posting.
The candidate evaluations contained here are made from information
available about candidates, including voting records for those who
have served in office, candidate
questionnaires returned by candidates, and other information
available from various sources.
Candidates are evaluated solely upon how well they understand, how
strongly they feel about, and how fervently they support the Right
to Keep and Bear Arms. Only candidates with a primary
challenge are considered for the Primary Election, and there is not
a favored candidate in every Primary-challenged race. Some
Primary-challenged candidates may have equal opponents, or I may
have no voting record or returned candidate questionnaire
from either candidate in a Primary race.
The candidates who are graded or endorsed here are selected because
I have solid information about them and in some cases none about
their opponent(s), and because the favored candidate is known to be
a strong and reliable advocate for our constitutionally-protected
Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
I strongly urge all MSSA members and other interested gun owners to
favor and support these selected candidates who have a Primary
challenge. The Primary Election happens soon, in the first
week of June, and absentee ballots will go out soon. Get
active. Seek out these candidates. Send them much-needed
money needed for their campaigns. Work for these
candidates. Spread the word to all of your gun-owning
friends. Post the link to this page on social media. Do
In the chart below, ONLY candidates with a Primary Election
challenge are listed and graded. For those with a "?", we have
no information - no voting record and the candidate did not return MSSA's candidate
questionnaire (hiding?) Those with an "E" in the endorse
column are endorsed by MSSA specifically for the Primary
Election. In the "Office" column, "SD" means a Senate District
and "HD" means a House District. Rose-colored candidates filed
as Republicans, blue-colored candidates filed as Democrats, and
yellow-colored candidates filed as Libertarians.
Final note about endorsements: MSSA usually wants to see a
two-letter grade separation between candidates before making an
endorsement - an A and a C, or a B and a D. MSSA usually
doesn't endorsement a candidate with less than a B grade unless the
candidate is running against a known anti-gun candidate. In
the rare occasions where there are two or more good candidates, MSSA
refrains from any endorsement and only publishes candidate grades
for voter information.