HOUSE BILL NO. 477
INTRODUCED BY M. FUNK
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REQUIRING THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION TO DEVELOP MODEL FIREARMS SAFETY TRAINING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES; CREATING THE OFFENSE OF LEAVING A FIREARM ACCESSIBLE TO A CHILD; REQUIRING LICENSED FIREARM DEALERS TO PROMINENTLY POST A NOTICE OF THE OFFENSE OF LEAVING A FIREARM ACCESSIBLE TO A CHILD; PROVIDING A PENALTY; ALLOWING THE OFFICE TO CHARGE A FEE FOR PROVISION OF CERTAIN RESOURCES; AND AMENDING SECTION 20-7-132, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN APPLICABILITY DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
"20-7-132. Firearms safety education. (1) (A) The office of public instruction shall develop and maintain model school district policies and procedures for firearms safety education. The model policies and procedures must be reviewed periodically by a qualified person or committee for consistency with generally accepted principles of youth firearms safety education.
(B) THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION MAY CHARGE A DISTRICT A FEE OF UP TO $5 FOR RESOURCES MADE AVAILABLE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (1)(A).
(2) The trustees of a district are encouraged to establish and maintain a firearms safety education course. The trustees may adopt a course of instruction developed by the department of fish, wildlife, and parks, a law enforcement agency, or a firearms association as its firearms safety education course. Instructors from the department of fish, wildlife, and parks, a law enforcement agency, or a firearms association or a person recognized by the trustees as having expertise in firearms safety education may be used to provide the instruction."
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Leaving firearm accessible to child. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person commits the offense of leaving a firearm accessible to a child if:
(a) a child gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm;
(b) the child discharges the firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury to the child or another person; and
(c) the person negligently:
(i) failed to secure the firearm; or
(ii) left the firearm in a place where the person knew or should have known that a child would gain access to the firearm.
(2) A person is not guilty under this section if a child gained access to a firearm:
(a) for hunting, sporting, or other lawful purposes while under the supervision of a person 18 years of age or older;
(b) to provide self-defense or defense of another person or property; or
(c) by unlawfully entering or remaining in or upon a vehicle, occupied structure, or premises pursuant to 45-6-201.
(3) A person convicted of the offense of leaving a firearm accessible to a child shall be punished by a fine of up to $1,000.
(4) As used in this section:
(a) "Readily dischargeable firearm" means a firearm that is loaded with ammunition, whether or not a round is in the chamber.
(b) "Secure" means to take steps that a reasonable person would take to prevent the access to a readily dischargeable firearm by a child, including but not limited to:
(i) placing a firearm in a locked container;
(ii) temporarily rendering the firearm inoperable by a trigger lock or other means; or
(iii) storing any ammunition for the firearm in a location separate from the firearm's location.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Firearms dealer to provide notice to public -- sign required. A licensed firearm dealer shall prominently display a sign on the premises notifying the public of the offense of leaving a firearm accessible to a child and the penalty for violating [section 2]. The printing on the sign must be in block letters not less than 1 inch in height.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Codification instruction. [Sections 2 and 3] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 45, chapter 8, part 3, and the provisions of Title 45, chapter 8, part 3, apply to [sections 2 and 3].
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Applicability. [This act] applies to offenses committed on or after [the effective date of this act].
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Prepared by Montana