Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill into law on Friday, April 23, to help protect firearm owners in the state from any potential federal restrictions or prohibitions on handguns.
Gianforte, a Republican, posted on Twitter, “Today, I proudly signed Rep. [Jedediah] Hinkle’s law prohibiting federal overreach into our Second Amendment-protected rights, including any federal ban on firearms.”
“I will always protect our #2A right to keep and bear arms,” he continued.
Today, I proudly signed Rep. Hinkle's law prohibiting federal overreach into our Second Amendment-protected rights, including any federal ban on firearms.
— Governor Greg Gianforte (@GovGianforte) April 23, 2021
According to Fox News, the bill was passed by Republicans in the state in response to President Joe Biden’s call for federal gun control in the aftermath of a string of shooting incidents around the U.S this year.
Biden proposed multiple executive orders to combat gun crime earlier this month, along with a plan to crack down on “ghost guns,” which are handmade firearms that have no serial numbers and are often bought without a background inquiry. In the coming weeks, the U.S. Justice Department is set to issue updated guidelines on ghost guns.
Montana law forbids law enforcement agents and other public servants from implementing government prohibitions or using state resources on specific weapons, ammunition, or magazines.
Former Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock rejected similar bills in 2013, 2015, and 2017.
In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson also signed an equivalent bill intended to protect the state’s gun owners from any new federal regulations on Friday, claiming that it would endanger police forces and the community.
Critics of the Montana law claimed that it would cause problems for local cops to work with government officials on issues other than firearms ownership, such as domestic violence and drug crimes, where such coordination is necessary to defend community security, USA Today reported.
However, advocates of the statute argue that collaboration is just about desire.
Gianforte enacted a bill earlier this year that loosens Montana’s gun laws, enabling concealed guns to be kept in most areas without permission and extending the list of locations where guns can be brought to involve campuses and the Montana State Capitol building.
Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona also signed a similar bill early this month, which will not require constituents to comply with new national gun laws.
Under the new state law, the governor is also banning state police and sheriffs from cooperating with federal authorities that intend to confiscate weapons, financially penalize, or even detain Arizonans because they own certain firearms.