Key Vote: Montana House passes bipartisan gun safety legislation

The Montana House of Representatives has sent the Senate a firearm education bill centered around gun safety for children.

πŸš¨βœ” HB 477, which LEAP Forward has been grading as a key bill in the state legislature, passed its third reading on the House floor yesterday with an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 61-35. Introduced by Democrat Moffie Funk (100% vote index, +31 overall score), the bill got 23 Republican crossover votes less than a week after narrowly being passed out of the Judiciary Committee 10-9. The bill now goes to a polarized state Senate, where Republicans hold a 30-20 advantage.

From the AP:

The proposal … would require the Montana Office of Public Instruction to create a gun safety program for public schools.

The original bill also would have fined those who fail to secure a gun that a child uses in an act of violence, but that provision was removed in the House.

Even with the change, Funk says the bill could make a huge difference in the lives of young people by encouraging school boards to get serious about gun safety education.

The legislation was drafted with the support of Helena area high school students who are members of the Helena Youth Against Gun Violence organization. β€œβ€˜We initially weren’t actually expecting to get it passed through committee,” said Clara McRae, co-founder of HYAGV, β€œSo it is pretty crazy we made it through all three steps through the House.’”

Even in its slightly watered-down form, LEAP Forward is continuing to score support for the legislation as it moves through the Montana Senate.