For years we have sat silently as those in power have worked tirelessly to erode our Second Amendment rights. Often acting under the guise of safety and security, those in power have escalated their attacks on the Second Amendment in response to mass shootings, claiming they want a greater level of safety and security for Americans.

This, despite historical evidence that makes clear connections between a disarmed people and an oppressed people. Ben Franklin once wrote, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” This is why the Founders codified the Second Amendment into law.

They knew all too well the tendency of government was to grow beyond its capacity to reason logically, and that these trends inevitably lead to the oppression of the citizenry. It seems much more likely that those in power seek to disarm the American people in order to protect their own interests.

Let me make one thing clear. The Second Amendment was not written to give you the right to keep and bear arms. It was written to create a legal framework by which the government could not legally strip you of, or infringe on, your God given right to self defense.

The Founders did not do this simply to allow for hunting or home defense. The Founders did so as a result of their personal experiences with tyranny, and wanted to guarantee that future generations of Americans were always prepared to defend their nation against any threat, Foreign or Domestic. It is for that reason that those taking Military and Police oaths state that they will “Defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.

If elected Governor of Montana I will act as a barrier between the federal government and the people of Montana, ensuring that under no circumstances would we allow the Federal government to infringe on any of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights. My first goal as Governor will be to allow for Constitutional Carry Laws to be enacted statewide for all Montana residents over the age of 18. If you're old enough to die protecting your country you're old enough to carry a pistol in order to defend yourself and those around you. An armed society is a safe society. If we wish to prevent mass shootings we need a populace capable of doing so.

Montana Laws currently on the books allow for person-to-person firearms transfers to take place without federal documentation. I will safeguard and expand on these laws in order to create legal barriers to any pending legislation that might seek to further undermine our rights. To this end I will ratify the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, which by its existing definition nullifies the National Firearms Act, also known as the NFA, which was enacted as part of the Internal Revenue Code.

The NFA is little more than an exercise of the taxing power, allowing federal tax levies on the manufacture, sale and transfer of certain classes of firearms, including automatic weapons, short-barreled rifles, and suppressors. In short, the NFA creates legal requirements comprised of registration and taxation in order to exercise the fullness of the Rights which are already clearly established by Constitutional law.

The idea that our right to variations in firearm construction should be held for ransom in exchange for bureaucratic paperwork and government fees is an affront to our traditions and culture of individual liberties and is in direct violation of The US Constitution and the Montana State Constitution; the legal contract by which Montana joined the union in 1889. The actions we have seen from Governors of States such as Virginia and Georgia cannot be allowed to take even a single step further in their attempts to disarm the Citizens of the United States, and in particular, Montana.

Furthermore I will override any laws limiting civilian access to firearms based on the decision of an individual to use legally allowable medications. The idea that we would legally allow our citizens access to medical marijuana at the cost of disallowing them the legal right to own firearms is beyond preposterous and must be negated. It simply does not fit within the framework of a free society.

Now is the time to take strong action to preserve our rights as free Americans, and I am convinced that no other candidate is willing to take the actions required to solve these issues. Career politicians simply have too much to lose by being outspoken and doing what needs to be done.

While I have no experience in politics, I see this as an advantage. I approach this endeavor not as a career politician, but as a man that seeks to accomplish a goal, then return to my normal life as the Founders intended. While I am not wealthy by any means I cannot be bought as my sacred honor means more to me than silver and gold.

I will never bow to corruption or special interests, and will do everything in my power to bring those guilty of such treason to justice. I have decades of experience running successful businesses, building teams of professionals and developing new ideas into viable alternatives to existing standards. I feel God has called me to, and prepared me for this work, and I believe that if we join together for the common good we can serve as an example to the rest of the country.

Lyman Bishop is a Libertarian Party candidate for Montana governor. He holds a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and is the Founder and CEO of Hoplite Armor, a Montana based body armor company.