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Mar 3, 2009   |  Senator Jon Tester

Senators to Attorney General Holder: Stay away from our guns

(Washington D.C.)- Montana’s U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester sent a simple and clear message to Attorney General Eric Holder today: any new gun restrictions are a non-starter.

In a letter to Holder, Baucus and Tester emphasized the need to enforce current laws on the books instead of passing additional laws which could infringe on Montanans’ 2nd Amendment rights.

“We oppose reinstating the ban on the sale of assault weapons, and we call on the Department of Justice to enforce existing laws before it considers imposing any new restrictions on gun ownership,” Baucus and Tester wrote.

The letter continued by explaining Montana’s proud outdoor heritage and how important gun ownership is to that heritage.

“We value our outdoor heritage, and a large part of that is our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Passing this heritage down from one generation to the next is a sacred part of being a Montanan, and something that we will always fight to protect,” the letter states.

The Senators’ letter was prompted by recent comments that Holder made about wanting to introduce new gun restrictions.

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock applauds the stand that Baucus and Tester have taken.

"Max and Jon are exactly right—we need to be enforcing the laws that we have on the books," Bullock said.  "These one-size-fits all gun laws might be popular in some parts of the country, but they don't work for Montana."

As senators, Baucus and Tester both are members of the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus, which consists of Senators and Representatives working together to protect public lands so future generations can hunt, fish, hike and enjoy other outdoor activities. Baucus is a past Chairman of the caucus, and Tester is the current Vice-Chairman.

-Letter Pasted Below-

Dear Attorney General Holder:

This letter is in regards to your recent comments suggesting the reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons.  We oppose reinstating the ban on the sale of assault weapons, and we call on the Department of Justice to enforce existing laws before it considers imposing any new restrictions on gun ownership. 

Your comments noted increased violence among international drug traffickers as a reason to reexamine the ban on assault weapons within this country; however, this statement fails to acknowledge laws already in place that work to address this issue.  Under current law, both transferring a firearm to someone knowing that it will be used to commit a violent or drug-trafficking crime as well as possessing a firearm in furtherance of a Federal drug trafficking crime are already federal felonies punishable by imprisonment.

We will strongly oppose any legislation that will infringe upon the rights of individual gun owners. We value our outdoor heritage, and a large part of that is our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Passing this heritage down from one generation to the next is a sacred part of being a Montanan, and something that we will always fight to protect. In the light of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling of District of Columbia v. Heller, affirming the Second Amendment right to bear arms as an individual and constitutionally protected right, we urge you to avoid any legislative proposals that would jeopardize the Constitutional right of law-abiding Americans to own firearms.

Sincerely,
U.S. Senator Max Baucus
U.S. Senator Jon Tester

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glendive, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Glendive

122 W Towne
Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: (406) 365-2391
Fax: (406) 365-8836

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

14 Third Street E, Suite 230
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front Street
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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