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Montana gov signs bill barring enforcement of federal bans on guns, ammunition and magazines

Row of handguns. (US Coast Guard Academy/Released)
April 26, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed H.B. 258 Friday prohibiting Montana’s state and local law enforcement from enforcing, implementing or spending state funds to uphold federal bans on firearms, ammunition and magazines.

“Today, I proudly signed Rep. Hinkle’s law prohibiting federal overreach into our Second Amendment-protected rights, including any federal ban on firearms,” Gianforte tweeted.

“I will always protect our #2A right to keep and bear arms,” the governor added.

Earlier this year, Gianforte also signed into law a bill that eases gun restrictions in Montana, expanding concealed carry firearms to include a number of public places, including university campuses and the state Capitol. The law also allows the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit.

Similar legislation has been enacted in a number of other states, including Arizona, where Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill earlier this month barring state and local law enforcement from enforcing federal gun laws that stand contrary to state law.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also announced that Texas would soon see gun sanctuary legislation.

“This is what I’m seeking for Texas — a law to defy any new federal gun control laws. It will make Texas a Second Amendment Sanctuary State,” the governor wrote.

Gov. Gianforte’s move comes at a time when President Joe Biden and his administration push for more gun control. In early April, President Joe Biden announced several gun-control measures that will be enacted by the White House, including regulations on pistol braces, a proposed rule to help stop the growth of homemade “ghost gun” firearms and a federal model for state “red flag” laws.

Democrat lawmakers in Congress have also introduced legislation that would ban 205 “assault weapons.”

Introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the legislation called the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2021” would also outlaw magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and is co-sponsored by 34 other Senate Democrats.

According to a press release from Feinstein, the bill “bans any assault weapon with the capacity to utilize a magazine that is not a fixed ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock.”

In March, the House passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R. 8) with a vote of 227-203, legislation that would criminalize private gun sales conducted without a background check.

The lower chamber of Congress also voted in favor of the Enhanced Backgrounds Checks Act by a vote of 219-210, a bill that would allow the FBI to put a hold on transferring a firearm for a minimum of 10 days and up to 30 days, rather than the three days currently allowed by law.