Weekly Legislative Update from House Speaker Pro Tem Casey Knudsen
February 24, 2021
February 19, 2021
HELENA- We are less than two weeks away from Transmittal which is the halfway point of the legislative session, which is the time when all general House bills must be voted on and sent to the Senate and Senate bills to the House. Committees are quickly working to ensure that all bills get acted on.
The highlight of this week was Governor Gianforte signing House Bill 102 into law, which ensures every Montanans’ right to self-defense is now protected from state barriers. This legislation allows concealed carry without a permit in the same places that open carry is currently allowed, which is the safer modern way of carrying firearms. Republicans have tried for several sessions to get this legislation signed into law only to have it vetoed.
Another pro-Second Amendment bill that passed the House this week was House Joint Resolution 5 which declares that taxes on privately held firearms are unconstitutional and that Montana’s Congressional delegation is directed to oppose any federal efforts to tax privately held firearms. Republican leaders in the Legislature are committed to protecting the right of Montanans to keep and bear arms.
The Legislature is continuing efforts to put additional accountability on emergency health declarations by state and local health authorities. While we must all take public health seriously and exercise personal responsibility, we cannot continue to keep our businesses, schools, and economy shutdown. The unintended economic, educational, and personal costs are too high. The House Business and Labor Committee is almost finished consolidating bills that will reign in emergency powers from being abused.
Many other bills will be moving through the House in the next week to address tax reform, expand healthcare options, grow our economy, and support Montana students. I look forward to providing a comprehensive Transmittal update in the coming weeks.
Casey Knudsen (R-Malta) is the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Montana House of Representatives