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Mountain Line Transit - Firearm Prohibition

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,282
Location
Montana
I have never rode on a Mountain Line Transit bus but while I was at the Parade of Lights the other night in Missoula I noticed at the door on the bus it lists Firearms as a prohibited item on the bus. I went to their website and noticed it listed under prohibited items on the website as well. I did some investigation and found the transit authority is a public entity that would be subject to MCA 45-8-351 (Preemption).

Therefore, I have taken up the task of writing the transit authority to try and resolve the issue. I will try and keep this thread updated with the latest information.

Website: http://www.mountainline.com/

First outbound correspondence to Mountain Line Transit Authority:
Letter to MLTA said:
Dear Mountain Line,

I am writing you today regarding your Safety and Security, Code of Conduct and Prohibited Items. I have noted that both on your website and posted on each bus at the door and interior you have listed ‘Firearms’ as a prohibited item on your buses. Upon my investigation you are a public transit authority and established taxing authority enabled by a public vote in 1976. You are therefore a local government unit in respect to Montana laws.

Pursuant to Montana Code Annotated 45-8-351, titled Restrictions on local government regulation of firearms, your entity may not prohibit, register, tax, license, or regulate the purchase, sale or other transfer (including delay in purchase, sale, or other transfer), ownership, possession, transportation, use, or unconcealed carrying of any weapon, including a rifle, shotgun, handgun, or concealed handgun. Additionally, there are no exceptions that would fit your implementation of firearm prohibition.

I request that you provide to me the authority you believe enables your ability to restrict firearms on your buses. Any penalty you believe you can enforce against a patron that rides your buses in violation of your prohibited items policy. I further request any internal memo, polices or training documentation regarding how to interact with individuals carrying firearms or individuals who violate the prohibited items policy. Also, I request a letter exempting me from your policy of prohibited items.

I politely request a timely response to this message. Please acknowledge receipt of this message.

Thank You,



[Name]
 

BB62

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Messages
4,025
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
I have never rode on a Mountain Line Transit bus but while I was at the Parade of Lights the other night in Missoula I noticed at the door on the bus it lists Firearms as a prohibited item on the bus. I went to their website and noticed it listed under prohibited items on the website as well. I did some investigation and found the transit authority is a public entity that would be subject to MCA 45-8-351 (Preemption).

Therefore, I have taken up the task of writing the transit authority to try and resolve the issue. I will try and keep this thread updated with the latest information.

Website: http://www.mountainline.com/

First outbound correspondence to Mountain Line Transit Authority:
Wow. The anti-gun mindset exists even in Montana. :cry:

Watching with interest.
 

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,282
Location
Montana
Wow. The anti-gun mindset exists even in Montana. :cry:

Watching with interest.
Missoula is one of the most Liberal/Anti-Gun cities of the state. The city also houses a University, where that mindset is typically found in most states. Even so, I would say the Anti-Gun sections of the state are still better than most other states.
 

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,282
Location
Montana
Just a quick update, they have acknowledged my inquiry. The Operations Manager is investigating it and will be getting back with me before 24th of December.

Mountain Line Transit said:
Good morning Corey,
I am working on some research as to when Mountain Line enacted the weapons policy and any rational used for that policy. I have been here only two years so I am having to dig into the past files. My goal is to have a response to you by 24 December 2015. Thanks for the follow-up e-mail.

Regards,


Jeffrey F. Logan
Operations Manager
 

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,282
Location
Montana
Is this "bus line" providing service/transport only INTRAstate or INTERstate?
Intrastate only. Actually only within the rural transit district which is the city of Missoula (more or less).

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slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,282
Location
Montana
Here is their response. I will be working on a reply here shortly.

Mr. [Name]
I was unable to find any past notes or minutes from when the Missoula Urban Transportation District (MUTD) created the Safety and Security Code of conduct that prohibits bringing firearms on Mountain Line buses/vehicles. I will continue to research and try to find when the code of conduct was adopted by the MUTD Board of Directors.

The Missoula Urban Transportation District, or Mountain Line, is authorized by State Statute. The authority of MUTD under State Law includes the powers necessary and proper to the establishment operation improvement maintenance, and administration of the transportation district. See Section 7-14-219 MCA: “The board shall have all powers necessary and proper to the establishment, operation, improvement, maintenance, and administration of the transportation district.”
MUTD’s goal is to “provide safe, comfortable and reliable bus transportation to the community.” Thus, MUTD’s authority includes rule making authority that furthers their goal of providing safe, comfortable and reliable bus transportation throughout the District. MUTD determined that in order to provide for safe public transportation, rules needed to be in place, including the prohibition on possession of firearms and other weapons on Mountain Line buses/vehicles.

The penalty for violation of the passenger Code of Conduct includes being asked to leave the bus and/or facility and possibly trespassed from the buses or facility for continued violation.

I am unable to provide you with documentation or training material on how Mountain Line employees interact with individuals carrying firearms because those are internal security policies that are not subject to public inspection.

Finally, there is no provision for making exceptions to the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct applies to all passengers of Mountain Line.

I am also available for a call if you would like to discuss this matter, my office number is 406.543.8386, xt 105. Thank you for asking these questions and have a Merry Christmas with family and friends.

Kind regards,


Jeffrey F. Logan
Operations Manager
Mountain Line
406.543.8386, Ext 105
jlogan@mountainline.com
 

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,282
Location
Montana
Here is my reply, that I am sure will be ignored but sent anyways.

Mr. Logan,

The authority that you claim MUTD has under state law is under MCA Title 7, relating to ‘Local Government’ and is not a full-fledged acceptance of powers for all things. The MUTD is a unit of local government as defined by state law.

The state law that I am providing to you, MCA 45-8-351, is specifically titled ‘Restrictions on local government regulation of firearms’. This statue denotes that it applies specifically to ‘county, city, town, consolidated local government or other local government unit’, your Transportation District is a local government unit. Therefore, your Transportation District is acting in violation of state law regarding firearms MCA 45-8-351, by restricting firearms by policy, rule or local statue.

I politely ask that your legal department review this information. I further ask that you add a discussion point to the next scheduled board meeting to discuss this violation and inform me of the date and time of such meeting.

Thank You,

[Name]
 

Grim_Night

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
772
Location
Pierce County, Washington
They will plead ignorance, they will plead exemption, they will plead whatever they can in order to get you to leave them alone so they can continue to violate the law. This is SOP. I have had similar issues here in Washington state with a local public transit agency. They regularly train their drivers to not allow anyone with a firearm on their buses even though their rules state otherwise. The drivers even argue what is plainly written in their rules. It usually requires that a supervisor get involved. Hell, even transit security is trained not to allow firearms onboard the buses. It finally took me making a big enough stink about it every single time that one of their drivers or transit security/police bothered me to get them to leave me alone. I have even been talked to by transit police while not anywhere near one of their buses because of the fact that I open carry. I have been informed that my face is well known and that the drivers as well as transit security/police have been instructed to leave me alone specifically.

So keep plugging away.
 

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,282
Location
Montana
They will plead ignorance, they will plead exemption, they will plead whatever they can in order to get you to leave them alone so they can continue to violate the law. This is SOP. I have had similar issues here in Washington state with a local public transit agency. They regularly train their drivers to not allow anyone with a firearm on their buses even though their rules state otherwise. The drivers even argue what is plainly written in their rules. It usually requires that a supervisor get involved. Hell, even transit security is trained not to allow firearms onboard the buses. It finally took me making a big enough stink about it every single time that one of their drivers or transit security/police bothered me to get them to leave me alone. I have even been talked to by transit police while not anywhere near one of their buses because of the fact that I open carry. I have been informed that my face is well known and that the drivers as well as transit security/police have been instructed to leave me alone specifically.

So keep plugging away.
I talked to the President of MSSA, the leading 2nd amendment group here in Montana and he sent a letter to them as well, CC'ed the MSSA lawyer and the Deputy Attorney General for Montana. I will keep at them until we have some sort of resolution. Ill keep this thread updated as I see needed.
 

HPmatt

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Aug 18, 2013
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1,464
Location
Dallas
Know this sounds like turning up the heat...good job.


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BB62

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HPmatt

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Aug 18, 2013
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Location
Dallas
Passenger Code of Conduct - what the hell - just get me down the road to my stop and stay on time. I promise not to break the law or disturb the peace - call the cops if I do. Otherwise screw some non-binding (state and federal) unconstitutional, unsanctioned CofC


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solus

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Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
8,781
Location
here nc
Passenger Code of Conduct - what the hell - just get me down the road to my stop and stay on time. I promise not to break the law or disturb the peace - call the cops if I do. Otherwise screw some non-binding (state and federal) unconstitutional, unsanctioned CofC
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i'm sure that concept is not stated by the business as a mandate to nor accountable back to patrons. hummm, can you claim reimbursement or damages if they fail to meet your expectations??

ipse
 

slapmonkay

Campaign Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
1,282
Location
Montana
*** Update & Documents ***

I wanted to give an update here: I have decided to come back around and readdress this issue.

I have some PDF's for everyone's reading pleasure from the previous volley of correspondence.

My latest update is, I am working with an MT legislator to try and get an official AG Opinion on the issue. Similar to the route taken in the Missoula Background Checks official Attorney General Opinion that Missoula is now challanging.

Without further ado:
 
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