Montana Ammunition Availability Act

NEW SECTION.  Section 1.  This act may be cited as the "Montana Ammunition Availability Act."

NEW SECTION.  Section 2.  Legislative findings.  a. In recognition that the people of Montana have reserved the individual right to bear arms to themselves at Article II, Section 12 of the Montana constitution, the legislature finds that both this right and the firearms that the people possess are at serious risk if the people cannot obtain ammunition to use firearms.  An adequate source of ammunition is an indivisible and essential part of the right to bear arms.  The people of Montana are totally dependent upon a very few manufacturers of smokeless propellant, small arms primers and cartridge cases located in other states for small arms ammunition used in Montana.

b.  The legislature intends to encourage the manufacture of smokeless propellant, small arms primers and cartridge cases within the borders of Montana to assure availability of small arms ammunition for the people of Montana and to fully implement the right to bear arms that the people have reserved to themselves.

NEW SECTION.  Section 3.  Definitions.  The following definitions shall apply to [this act]:

a.  Smokeless propellant or smokeless powder is a chemical substance designed to expel a projectile from conventional firearms through burning and expansion at a quick but controlled burning rate;

b.  Black powder is a propellant made from potassium or sodium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur, or a substitute for black powder made differently, used for conventional small arms or antique or replica arms;

c.  As used here, "propellant" includes smokeless propellant or black powder or black powder substitutes;

d.  Small arms primers are the priming component for a round of ammunition, usually made of a cup, anvil and a shock-sensitive chemical compound, and designed to ignite the propellant in an ammunition cartridge for conventional small arms;

e.  Cartridge cases are the casings that contain and hold together the propellant, primer and bullet, which cases may be formed from brass, aluminum, steel or plastic, or some combination of those or other materials;

f.  Small arms or conventional firearms are pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns and other similar devices that are portable by one person and the possession and use of which are protected by Article II, Section 12;

g.  Primary business means a manufacture for which greater than one half if its product produced is, and more than one half of its gross income comes from, sales of smokeless propellant, small arms primers and/or cartridge cases;

h.  Propellants, primers and cartridge cases are collectively called ammunition components.

i.  Tax amnesty means full exemption from the state portion of property tax, full exemption from business income tax, and full exemption from business equipment tax, and full exemption from any other taxes on business activity levied by the state, but does not include the local portion of property tax or an employer's share of employee payroll tax;

NEW SECTION.  Section 4.  Tax amnesty period; conditions for tax amnesty.  Any business or entity in the state the primary business of which is the manufacture of ammunition components is granted a tax amnesty until the beginning of the year 2031, subject to the following conditions to obtain and retain that amnesty:

a.  The products of the business or entity are and remain available to commercial and individual consumers in the state;

b.  In-state commercial and individual consumers must have priority for access to the products of the business or entity before out-of-state consumers;

c.  The business or entity must sell its products to in-state commercial and individual consumers for a price no greater than that for out-of-state purchasers, including any products that leave the state regardless of destination or purchaser; and
(Example for drafter:  A qualified producer might enter into a large volume contract with an out-of-state purchaser at a negotiated price per unit.  That same price or better must be and remain available to in-state purchasers as a public policy condition of the public subsidy tax amnesty.)

d.  The business may not enter into any agreement or contract that could actually or potentially command or commit all of its production to out-of-state consumers or interfere with or prohibit sales of and provision of products to in-state consumers.
(Explanation for drafter:  Military supply contracts typically allow the military purchaser to command up to 100% of the production of the supplier, if that provision is opted.  Any such contract provision would undercut the intent of making such products available to the people of Montana and would cause a producer to lose eligibility for the benefits hereunder.)

NEW SECTION.  Section 5.  Liability.  The provisions of 27-1-720 apply to propellants, small arms primers and cartridge cases manufactured in Montana.

NEW SECTION.  Section 6.  Finance.  The establishment or manufacture of propellant and small arms primers is a qualified economic development purpose pursuant to Title 90, Chapter 1, Part 2 and 90-1-116 through 119.

NEW SECTION.  Section 7.  Regulation of chemicals.  Pursuant to 30-20-102, only Montana and the department of environmental quality may regulate the chemicals used to manufacture propellants, small arms primers and cartridge cases and any use of such chemicals for those purposes may not be regulated in the state by any agency of the united states.

NEW SECTION.  Section 8.  Severability. (Standard severability language)

NEW SECTION.  Section 9.  Immediate effective date.  [This Act] is effective on passage and approval.