Either Montana Gov. Steve Bullock doesn’t understand the constitutional relationship between his state and the federal government, or he’s a liar.
On Friday, Bullock vetoed a bill that would have prohibited state and local agencies in Montana from enforcing any future federal gun laws.
Rep. Art Wittich, sponsored HB203. The bill banned the state “from enforcing, assisting in the enforcement of or otherwise cooperating in the enforcement of” a federal act enacted on or after Jan. 1, 2015 that “prohibits, restricts, or requires individual licensure for ownership, possession, transfer, or use of any firearm or any magazine or other ammunition feeding device.”
Bullock vetoed the bill, saying it “puts law enforcement officers in the position of violating laws they have sworn to uphold.”
To put it bluntly, Bullock is full of crap. It does no such thing.
The governor vetoed a similar bill in 2013 and gave the same reason.
He was wrong then.
He’s still wrong now.
HB203 would not create some kind of moral dilemma for Montana cops. In fact, Bullock makes an absolutely absurd assertion when he claims the bill would put law enforcement officers in a position of “violating laws.” How does leaving the enforcement of federal statutes to federal law enforcement violate any law?
Bullock pretends Montana operates under some kind of sacred obligation to enforce every federal law that comes down the pike from Washington D.C.
It does not.
Nothing says states must enforce federal laws.