Bill Banning Enforcement of Unconstitutional Federal Gun Laws Vetoed, Bill Sponsor Krayton Kerns Responds
House Bill 302 was the first this legislative session to receive Governor Steve Bullock's veto. The bill would have made it illegal for Montana authorities to enforce any unconstitutional federal gun bans or restrictions. Bill Sponsor Krayton Kerns (R) of Laurel says he's not surprised by the Governor's vote.
"Certainly I'm disappointed that the governor vetoed it, not surprised, but disappointed. I think his veto is probably consistent with his underlying philosophy of government. That philosophy being that a massive central government as the answer to everything. Democrats, in general, vote pretty well lock-step for anything that empowers the federal government over the state."
Bullock described the bill as “unnecessary political theater.” But Kerns sees it differently.
"I disagree entirely with that, It's anything but that," Kerns said. "It's an expression of a State and their constitutional rights. Somebody's got to call the federal government into check when they're usurping their powers and that's what we would be doing."
Kerns says the Senate will almost certainly not have enough votes to override the veto. He says H.B. 304, which would allow permit-less carry of concealed firearms, will likely be the next bill to be shot down by veto. Former Governor Schweitzer vetoed an almost identical piece of legislation in 2011.