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2024 Montana Primary elections

Montana Delegation Reacts To Executive Orders On Guns

Sen. Jon Tester, Sen. Steve Daines, Rep. Matt Rosendale.
Sen. Jon Tester, Sen. Steve Daines, Rep. Matt Rosendale.

Montana’s congressional delegation wasted no time in reacting to President Joe Biden’s newly announced gun control measures.

President Joe Biden Thursday ordered a half-dozen executive actions aimed at addressing what he calls an "epidemic and an international embarrassment" of gun violence in America. Biden’s announcement follows several mass shootings across the U.S. in recent weeks.

Biden's actions include a move to crack down on homemade firearms that lack serial numbers and are often purchased without a background check. He also announced tighter regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces.

Montana’s senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Jon Tester says he prefers Congress develop gun policy rather than executive actions. In a statement emailed to MTPR, spokesman Roy Lowenstein said "Senator Tester is a proud gun owner and a longtime defender of Montanans’ Second Amendment rights." The statement says steps are needed to ensure that criminals, terrorists and people deemed to be dangers to themselves or others don’t get access to firearms – all while protecting the rights of law abiding gun owners. Tester says Congress needs to address these issues.

Republican Sen. Steve Daines decried what he called the Biden administration’s infringement on the Second Amendment. In a statement, Daines says "More gun control is not the answer. It infringes on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens and doesn't go after criminals."

Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale describes Biden’s actions as an attack on the Second Amendment. A statement from Rosendale's office describes the executive orders as "Yet another chapter in Democrats' failure to blame criminals who commit heinous acts, while punishing law-abiding citizens."

On his twitter feed Montanan’s Republican Governor, Greg Gianforte says "President Biden’s executive order is gross federal overreach and undermines the rights of law-abiding Montanans."

In February, Gianforte signed House Bill 102 allowing Montanans to carry concealed firearms without a permit in most locations, and with a permit in state and local government buildings. It also limits universities' ability to regulate guns on campus.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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