Election ballots hit Montana mailboxes recently and many voters are scratching their heads in confusion over one measure in particular: LR-130.
But, as confusing and poorly written as this measure is, the answer on how to vote on it is simple: Montana voters should vote “NO” on LR-130.
The bipartisan Montana League of Cities and Towns, which represents all 127 incorporated municipalities in our state, opposes this dangerous measure, and you should, too.
LR-130 is the product of lobbyists and politicians in Helena who want to eliminate local decision making in Montana. It would change areas of state law that have stood largely unchanged since Montana’s initial constitution was authored in 1889.
These laws—now under threat from LR-130—have protected Montanans’ gun rights and Second Amendment guarantees for more than a century. They also have protected Montanans’ desire and historic freedom to make decisions that keep their families and communities safe.
The Montana League of Cities and Towns believes that we should retain our existing laws and not subject them to change via LR-130. Local citizens know their communities best, and are better equipped than politicians in Helena on deciding how best to keep their cities and towns safe.
LR-130 is so confusing and poorly written that legal experts and many in law enforcement believe it is both unconstitutional and unenforceable. The repeal of community-led protections runs afoul of both legal precedent and constitutional rights.
We should not be passing confusing laws that will very likely be challenged in court nor creating uncertainty in our schools and public spaces during an already difficult time.
Why change something that’s working? Montanans agree that we need to protect our Second Amendment rights, including our right to protect ourselves, and we already have strong laws in Montana to ensure these rights. LR-130 is a reckless attempt to re-write current gun laws and will have serious consequences for our ability to make local decisions.
LR-130 is unnecessary. Montanans know and trust their local school boards, law enforcement, and locally elected officials to keep our communities safe and protect our rights. LR-130 raises questions and confusion and creates problems rather than solving them, threatening local decision making in Montana communities.
For these reasons, LR-130 is opposed by Montana’s cities and towns, along with veterans, school boards, nurses, ranchers, doctors, hunters, and local sheriffs and law enforcement from across the state. You should oppose it, too.
Voting NO on LR-130 recognizes the value of making decisions at the community level. We can protect our second amendment rights and Montana’s long history of local decision-making by rejecting this confusing and unnecessary measure.
Tim Burton: executive director of the Montana League of Cities and Towns; Mayor Sandra Jones: City of Roundup and immediate past president of the Montana League of Cities and Towns