Last word on gun laws 

Packing your pistol on your next business or pleasure trip? Thinking about putting a bullet into your next intruder?

Better keep your piece in the drawer and ease up on the firing pin until you’ve read Gun Laws of Montana, a new book by Montana Shooting Sports Association President Gary Marbut.

Marbut, of Missoula, has scoured the state’s codes and offers a thorough review of the statutes governing gun purchases and ownership, liability issues, concealed weapon permits and the use of lethal force.

He also delves into firearm safety and how to keep weapons out of the hands of children. And there’s a whole chapter devoted to the legal and moral components of self-defense, including a discussion of the psychological and social impacts of killing or wounding a fellow human being.

“Personal firearms, used by law-abiding people to defend themselves, tend to neutralize the natural advantages of the assailant, and empower the targeted victim to be able to choose whether or not to actually be a victim,” Marbut writes. “I do not advocate that every person must own and use firearms, nor do I advocate vigilante justice. I do insist that, for many, lawful ownership and intelligent use of a firearm is a perfectly reasonable approach to providing for one’s own personal protection.”

Perhaps no one in Montana is better poised to write such a book than Marbut, who as a lobbyist has authored and pushed many of the laws and amendments he now chronicles. The controversial gun-rights advocate also praises Montana lawmakers for not enacting many laws that other states have passed, including limits on the number of firearms a person may own, “arsenal licenses” for keeping caches of weapons, licenses, permits or registration requirements for machine gun ownership, and a “legal duty to retreat or flee if attacked.”

The book, released by Montana Publishing (, costs $12.95. And remember, if you’re taking the train, state law says the gun stays home.

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