It's Not About Safety, It's About Control
Gun Group Weighs in on Effort to Revive Failed Missoula Ordinance
(for immediate release - April 12, 2018)
MISSOULA - The Montana Shooting Sports Association was seriously
critical of an announced lawsuit by the City of Missoula in attempt
to overturn an Attorney General's Opinion, an Opinion that confirmed
that the City's failed gun control ordinance was illegal and
"Not only is this ordinance a misguided attempt at public policy,"
said MSSA president Gary Marbut, "but it is being fraudulently sold
to the public as a 'gun safety' measure. Calling a gun control
measure 'gun safety' is verbicide, a level of Newspeak that would
impress George Orwell, especially when coming from people who have
never supported actual firearm safety."
Marbut disclosed that he had offered the Missoula City Council a
draft Resolution over a year ago that included several options to
promote genuine firearm safety. The Council declined to even
introduce or consider this package that would honestly promote gun
safety. "This clearly demonstrates," Marbut continued, "that
the Council has no real interest in the safety of its citizens, but
only seeks to push an anti-gun political agenda. Council
members would rather spend taxpayer money on a doomed political
agenda than engage in actual firearm safety effort that would be
legal and could save lives in the community."
Marbut offered the firearm safety Resolution to City Council Members
in January of 2017, and again last week, but the Council declined to
consider or introduce it.
News reports about the Missoula lawsuit say Missoula will be
represented by lawyers from the New York City-based Everytown for
Gun Safety. Marbut bridles at the allegation that these New
York lawyers have any interest in actual gun safety. "Their New York
concept of 'gun safety' is that only criminals and police have
guns," Marbut said. "Mayor Engen mentions getting further help
with the City's lawsuit from 'gun safety advocacy groups'. By
this the Mayor does not mean MSSA or the NRA, but organizations that
lobby for additional restrictions on law abiding gun owners and have
home offices in New York."
"MSSA has been promoting actual gun safety for a generation," Marbut
explained. MSSA has gotten approval of its 'Be Safe' program
for kids from the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the
Legislature, and has distributed probably over 100,000 copies of the
program materials to children all over Montana in the last 20 years,
all at no cost to taxpayers. "Just think what we could have
accomplished with Be Safe," Marbut said, "if someone had handed us
the $25,000 to promote it that Missoula has decided to squander on
its failed gun control plan. Where were these 'gun safety'
advocates when Montana's children needed them?"
Proposed draft Resolution
Missoula City Council
WHEREAS, firearms ownership and possession is a common part of
Montana and Missoula culture; and
WHEREAS, Missoula residents who possess firearms should also be
equipped with the knowledge about how to be safe with firearms; and
WHEREAS, such knowledge includes how to safely secure firearms, how
to safely handle firearms to prevent misadventure, and how safely,
legally and ethically trade firearms privately with others.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
1. Montana state law at 20-7-132 encourages schools to provide
firearms safety education; and
2. The Be Safe program is a firearms safety curricula designed
for children in First through Third Grade, is approved by the
Montana Legislature, is approved by the Office of Public
Instruction, and is the most common vehicle for delivery of firearms
safety education to children in Montana; and
3. The Missoula City Council encourages all Missoula schools
to allow presentation of the Be Safe curricula to classrooms of
First through Third Grade students.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
1. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks oversees
firearms safety education, Hunter Education, primarily for young and
aspiring hunters; and
2. Hunter Education is delivered to interested persons in the
spring and in the fall in the Missoula area; and
3. The Missoula City Council encourages all interested persons
to avail themselves of Hunter Education training opportunity.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
1. Several local firearms safety instructors provide firearms
safety classes for adults who wish to be safe and competent with
2. Information about these instructors and classes may be
found Online and from local sporting goods stores; and
3. The Missoula City Council encourages all Missoula people to
take advantage of this available education to learn or upgrade
knowledge and skills concerning safe firearms storage, possession
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
1. People who sell or buy firearms privately have a moral and
legal obligation to do so properly; and
2. A Guide to Private Firearm Sales has been published and is
3. The Missoula City Council urges anyone contemplating a
private sale or purchase of a firearm to review this Guide and make
the person's best effort to follow the advice offered in the Guide.