While I applaud the general idea of Montana’s HB246, which would rescind all federal controls over firearms made in Montana, I have to wonder at just how helpful this will be to Montana gun owners, given that there are very few firearms manufacturers in Montana.

Of those that exist, Cooper Firearms of Montana makes hunting rifles, which most weapons experts agree are unsuitable as self-defense or military-grade weapons. Then there is David Gentry, of Belgrade, Montana, who makes only custom parts for rifles. KT Ordnance of Dillon, Montana also manufactures only rifle parts. Lilja Precision Rifle Barrels, as the name implies, is also a manufacturer of specialized parts for rifles. The Montana Rifleman, in Kalispell, is another manufacturer of parts, for rifles and handguns. Serengeti Rifles, on the other hand, is a Kalispell-based manufacturer of rifles, all intended for hunting. That’s it, folks. Those are Montana’s gun makers.

This raises the question, of what use is HB246, practically speaking, to Montana’s gun owners, especially when one considers that most gun owners in Montana own guns that are not made in Montana? Note, also, that the bill covers ammunition manufactured in Montana, as well. While there are plenty of ammunition suppliers in Montana – as there are everywhere – I could not find a single ammunition manufacturer in the state of Montana.

Is HB246 another of the several bills flooding state legislatures all over the country, allegedly aimed at protecting gun owners while actually doing very little to nothing for them, and – in some cases – actually aiding the confiscation of their guns? Surely, the lawmakers who drafted this piece of legislation were aware that most gun owners in their state don’t own Montana-made guns and ammo. Surely, they were aware that no ammunition is made in Montana. Given that, what are Montana lawmakers trying to pull, here? Do they really think gun owners in Montana are that stupid? If this law only protects Montana-made guns and ammo, then all guns and ammo made outside the state would still be just as subject to federal gun grabbing laws as it is now. Nice try, Montana, but you’ll have to do better than that.