MSSA Brief in Support of Motion to Intervene

July 13, 2018

Gun Group Moves to Intervene in Missoula Lawsuit
"Bloomberg Ordinance" Has Serious Constitutional Problems

MISSOULA -  On behalf of members who live in Missoula, the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) moved today to intervene in the City of Missoula's lawsuit against Attorney General Time Fox over Missoula's ill-fated "Bloomberg Ordinance."  Named after its chief promoter, ex New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Missoula's gun control ordinance was ruled as unenforceable by AG Fox because it conflicts with preemptive state law.

Concerned that the AG's response to the lawsuit by Missoula does not assert the rights that the people have reserved to themselves in the Montana Constitution, MSSA's intervention will cover that otherwise undefended legal turf.  MSSA's brief in support of its Motion to Intervene claims that the Bloomberg Ordinance violates both the Montana Constitution and the U.S. Constitution, in addition to the AG's determination that the ordinance is in conflict with state law.  If the court should disagree with Fox about the Bloomberg Ordinance's conflict with state law, MSSA wishes to have the obvious constitutional argument in the mix for application.

MSSA President Gary Marbut commented, "This Bloomberg Ordinance is as loony as when the City Attorney assured the City Council years ago that the City could ban shooting everywhere within five miles of Missoula based on a century-old law that allowed cities to quarantine for tuberculosis.  That ordinance was so bonkers that even Democrat Attorney General Mike Greeley ruled it to be in legal fantasy land."

The law allows MSSA to intervene and be represented in a lawsuit that affects its members, some of whom live inside the Missoula city limits.  In the Montana Constitution the people have declared that the right to keep or bear arms "shall not be called in question ..."  MSSA believes that the Bloomberg Ordinance clearly will call in question the reserved and protected rights of MSSA members.  "This is in the part of the Constitution where the people have declared, 'Here government may not tread', " Marbut said, "no matter how much money and how many New York lawyers that carpetbaggers like Bloomberg want to throw at Montana."

A New York City organization founded and funded by billionaire and ex-NYC-mayor Michael Bloomberg, Everytown for Gun Safety, is assisting the City of Missoula in pressing this lawsuit against the Montana Attorney General.  The lawsuit seeks to reverse the AG's Opinion that the Bloomberg Ordinance is illegal and unenforceable because of its conflict with superior state law.

 - 30 -

Information:  Gary Marbut, 406-549-1252; gary AT marbut DOT com



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 unenforceable.

"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

of the
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.


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.


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.


1.  Several local firearms safety instructors provide firearms safety classes for adults who wish to be safe and competent with firearms; and

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 and use.


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 available at:

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.