A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REVISING FIREARMS LAWS; PROVIDING LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; PROHIBITING STATE EMPLOYEES OR employees OF A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE FROM ASSISTING IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL LAWS OR DIRECTIVES REGARDING FIREARMS ENACTED OR ADOPTED AFTER JANUARY 19, 2021; and PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
(1) Our citizens are rightfully concerned that the federal government may take steps to violate the right to keep and bear arms in the second amendment of the United States constitution and Article II, section 12, of the Montana constitution through federal executive orders, agency orders, memoranda of understanding, conditions placed on federal grants or other federal funds, statutes, laws, rules, policy statements, regulations, or any other mechanism enacted or promulgated on or after January 19, 2021.
(2) It is the intent of the legislature in enacting [this act] to preclude Montana state and local government officials and employees, in particular peace officers, from collaborating, assisting, communicating, or jointly investigating with federal employees or officials in response to a potential violation of a federal gun ban enacted or adopted after January 19, 2021, or otherwise participate in enforcement and compliance activities of federal agencies pursuant to a federal gun ban enacted or adopted after January 19, 2021.
(3) In furtherance of the principles of federalism, the federal government may not commandeer the state's officers, agents, or employees to participate in the enforcement activities or investigations or otherwise facilitate federal investigations as recognized by the United States supreme court in Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997). It is in the state's interest to also preclude state and local officials and employees from choosing to collaborate with or assist federal officials and agents in the enforcement of federal bans enacted in 2021 or afterward.
(1) "Federal ban" means a federal statute, executive order, agency order, rule, regulation, policy statement, priority, or a new and more restrictive interpretation of an existing law enacted or adopted after January 19, 2021, that prohibits, restricts, or requires individual licensure for or registration of the purchase, ownership, possession, transfer, or use of a firearm, a magazine or other ammunition feeding device, or other firearm accessory.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Prohibitions. A state official, department, or agency of the state, political subdivision of the state, or employee of an agency or political subdivision of the state acting in their official capacity may not:
(2) utilize any assets, federal funds, state funds, or funds allocated by the state to local entities on or after [the effective date of this act] to engage in an activity that aids a federal agency, federal official, or contractor providing services to the federal government in the enforcement of a federal ban or an investigation of conduct prohibited by a federal ban if the federal ban occurred after January 19, 2021;
(3) assist or facilitate investigations by a federal law enforcement agency, official, or employee or their compliance activities pursuant to a federal ban issued, enacted, or promulgated on or after January 20, 2021, that restricts ownership, possession or use of firearms, ammunition, a magazine or other ammunition feeding device, or other firearm accessory; or
(4) accept funding from the federal government that contains one or more conditions or memoranda of understanding requiring recipients to comply with or assist in the enforcement of a federal ban enacted after January 19, 2021.
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Penalties. A political subdivision of the state may not receive state grant funds if the political subdivision adopts a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the political subdivision violates [section 3]. State grant funds for the political subdivision must be denied for the fiscal year following the year in which the political subdivision required actions that violate the prohibitions in [section 3].
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 5] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 45, chapter 8, and the provisions of Title 45, chapter 8, apply to [sections 1 through 5].
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.
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Prepared by Montana Legislative Services