MONTANA SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION
2012 ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE
(Return by March 20, 2012)
1. Concealed weapon permit
reciprocity. Montana recognizes the concealed
weapon permits (CWP) from all other states that issue after doing
background checks. Many of those states do not recognize
Montana CWPs. MSSA has asked the current Attorney General to
attempt to persuade those states that do not recognize Montana
CWPs to do so. Will you pursue such recognition by other
states if you are elected AG, and, if so, how?
2. Second Amendment -
individual right? For some the USSC decision in D.C. v. Heller finally
settled the question of whether the Second Amendment reserves to
the people an individual right, or a collective right for the
states to arm their militias. Did that case settle this
issue for you?
3. Second Amendment applies
to states? For some, the USSC decision in McDonald v. Chicago finally
settled the question of whether the Second Amendment applies to
states, counties and cities via the Fourteenth Amendment.
Did that case settle this issue for you?
4. Presidential candidates
and the RKBA. Presidential candidates have been
visiting Montana. The Secret Service protective detail
associated with presidential candidate visits requires that no
person may be admitted within the perimeter venue of a protected
candidate unless that person's name, date of birth and Social
Security Number are provided to the SS in advance, and unless the
person is disarmed. Do you find any conflict between that
protective protocol applied in Montana and Article II, Sections 10
and 12 of the Montana Constitutions?
5. Supremacy clause and the
Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Some argue that because
of the "supremacy clause" any action of the federal government
prevails over any provision of state law. Others assert that
the supremacy clause was amended by the Ninth and Tenth
Amendments, and that only federal acts well-founded in the federal
constitution and consistent with the Ninth and Tenth Amendments
prevail over state constitutional and statutory provisions.
Do you hold the former or latter view? If you hold a
different view, please explain.
6. Fusion center oversight.
Montana DoJ participates in and supports a "fusion center," to
connect and share information from federal, state, and local
databases and entities. This fusion center is overseen by a
committee made up primarily of government employees. Privacy
advocates see this as the fox guarding the hen-house. Would
you support statutory redesign of this oversight committee to
include a majority of appointees who are not government employees?
7. Right to privacy.
The Montana Constitution contains a strong declaration of right to
privacy at Article II, Section 10. Do you see this as
general advice, such as a right to pursuit of happiness, or do you
see it as a hard restriction such as the right to trial by jury or
freedom from unwarranted search or seizure?
8. Civil asset forfeiture.
Civil asset forfeiture laws were originally intended to take the
profit out of crime by allowing forfeiture of the assets from
major drug dealers. However, application of asset forfeiture
laws has changed, becoming an addictive budget augmentation for
some law enforcement agencies. This profit motive is seen by
some to possibly corrupt law enforcement agencies and
personnel. Would you support redirection of ALL proceeds,
including "federal returns," from asset forfeiture into the public
defender fund in Montana in order to relieve law enforcement
agencies of the potentially corruptive influence of profit motive
for asset forfeiture? Also, would you support a change in
Montana law requiring that a person's assets may not be forfeited
unless a person is convicted of a crime involving those assets?
9. Public funds for
lobbying. Federal courts have held that when
legislative bodies appropriate funds to executive branch agencies
it is usually no part of the intended appropriation for the agency
to spend the money to influence public votes or legislative
decisions. About half of the paid lobbyists operating before
the Montana Legislature are public employees, being paid to lobby
with funds appropriated for other purposes, not for
lobbying. If AG, what would you do to interdict this illegal
use of public funds for the purpose of influencing the
policy-making of the Legislature (would NOT affect private
expression by public employees not on payroll OR provision of
non-advocacy information by public employees upon legislative
10. AG opinions.
One way that application of state laws may be clarified is with
Attorney General opinions. However, most people in Montana
are not authorized to request an AG opinion. Would you
support broader involvement of the Attorney General in deciding
genuine differences of opinion about the effect of Montana laws,
especially laws relating to state or local government operations,
where facts are not at issue?
11. RKBA standard of
review. The people of Montana have reserved to
themselves the right to bear arms at Article II, Section 12 of the
Montana Constitution. Some assert that a standard of
judicial review is specified within this constitutional
reservation as "shall not be called in question." Do you
agree that this language constitutes direction for standard of
judicial review? What do you think "shall not be called in
12. University system and
the RKBA. The Montana Constitution gives the Board
of Regents "full power, responsibility, and authority to
supervise, coordinate, manage and control the Montana university
system," yet the Constitution fails to give the Regents any
authority to suspend or abrogate the fundamental rights of persons
on U.-system campuses. The Montana Supreme Court has said
that the primary effect of reserved, fundamental rights is to
inhibit government actors. U.-system managers are clearly
government employees because the U.-system is clearly a function
of government. The Montana Constitution says that the right
of "any person" to bear arms in defense of themselves or their
homes "shall not be called in question." Yet the Regents do
more than "question" this right by asserting rules making it
impermissible to bear arms on a U.-system campus. Do you
believe that the current scheme of effective prohibition of
firearms on campuses by the Regents and campus managers is
consistent with the right the people have reserved to themselves
to bear arms in the Montana Constitution?
( ) Yes
( ) No
( ) Other (please explain)
13. Definition - "self
government." The Montana Constitution says, at
Article II, Section 2, "Self-government. The people have the
exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and
independent state." What does this sentence mean to you?
14. MSSA 2013 Legislative
Agenda. Would you instruct or allow any Montana DoJ
personnel to oppose or seek modification of any items described on
the MSSA Legislative Candidate Questionnaire at:
Link to MSSA's LCQ
15. Remedies for
federal/state conflicts. When there are conflicts
between what a state wishes to do and what the federal government
wishes to impose upon a state, there are a variety of remedies
available. A state, for example, may pass a resolution
protesting against a federal mandate or incursion. Or, a
state may ask its congressional delegation to introduce and enact
legislation to address or moderate the conflict. One
commonly-understood remedy is for a state to sue the federal
government in federal court, asking that the judicial branch of
the federal government to restrain the executive and legislative
branches of the federal government. While that may sometimes
be a fruitful remedy, some observers express concern that lawsuits
in federal court are inadequate as an ultimate remedy for
federal/state conflicts, because that remedy depends upon an agent
(federal courts) for one party (federal government) to a conflict
to resolve a conflict in favor of the other party (a state) to the
conflict. This may leave the party whose agent is not
deciding the outcome (a state) at a distinct disadvantage.
About this concern, do you:
( ) Agree
( ) Disagree
( ) Other (please explain)
16. Contract for statehood
- effect. Article I of the Montana Constitution is
the Compact with the United States. That Compact is a
contract entered into by and between Montana and the other states
in 1889, wherein Congress was acting as the agent for the other
states. Some argue that this contract is not subject to
amendment without such change being ratified by the parties to the
contract, and that Montana and its people are also guaranteed by
contract a view of the Montana and U.S. Constitutions as they were
understood and accepted in 1889, at the time the contract was
agreed upon. Do you agree with this view, or do you view the
terms of this contract as having become changed over time, without
overt ratification, but by the flow of time, events, case law
evolution, changing judicial philosophies, and/or enactment of
laws by Congress that effect changes in the original conditions of
( ) Agree
( ) The contract or circumstances have changed
( ) Other
17. How many years out of
the last ten have you purchased a Montana hunting license?
The foregoing responses are actually my positions on these issues,
to the best of my knowledge and at this time.
Candidate Signature (digital signature accepted)
Candidate for Attorney General of Montana
Thank you for being willing to serve your state in public office,
and thank you very much for helping to provide us information
about your views on these important issues related to firearms.
Please return this questionnaire by email to MSSA at
email@example.com by 5PM, March 20th, or mail to: MSSA, P.O.
Box 16106, Missoula 59808.