The Montana Shooting Sports Association has been offering the ‘Be Safe’ Program for children for over 20 years, according to MSSA President and spokesman Gary Marbut.

“MSSA constructed the program to get the gun safety message to kids in the age range of first to third grades, and we did that about 20 years ago,” said Marbut. “The message and the program are approved by the Montana Legislature and by the Office of Public Instruction through the Superintendent of Public Instruction. I know that we have distributed on the order of 100,000 copies of the ‘Be Safe’ material around Montana over that period.”

Marbut says the ‘Be Safe’ message is simple.

“It tells children that if they see a gun in their environment, they should tell an adult and then they should leave, they should just get up and walk out the door,” he said. “We’re all about kids’ safety. I’m a little frustrated in all this national controversy about child safety and firearms, that those who want to sound like the great advocates of safety for children are not talking about firearms safety education. That’s why I’d like to steer the conversation into a topic about something that’s proven and something that works and something that needs more attention everywhere, but especially here in Montana.”

Marbut encourages parents to contact their local school administrators and school boards to adopt the ‘Be Safe’ program.

Marbut also sent an email to the Missoula City Council repeating a resolution to promote firearms safety. The message can be read below.

Dear Missoula City Council Members,

Just over a year ago (February, 2017) I offered the Council a draft Resolution as something the City could legally do to promote firearms safety, and safe firearms use and transfer.  The text of that draft Resolution is pasted below for your consideration and use.

I have heard nothing about what may have become of this Resolution since I offered it to the Council.  Was it ever introduced?  Have any committees considered it?  Was it adopted in any form?

Thank you for your concern about the issues addressed in the Resolution, and for your response.


Gary Marbut, president

Montana Shooting Sports Association

Author, Gun Laws of Montana



RESOLUTION of the Missoula City Council

WHEREAS, firearms ownership and possession is a common part of Montana and Missoula culture; and

WHEREAS, Missoula residents who possess firearms should also be equipped with the knowledge about how to be safe with firearms; and

WHEREAS, such knowledge includes how to safely secure firearms, how to safely handle firearms to prevent misadventure, and how safely, legally and ethically trade firearms privately with others.


1.Montana state law at 20-7-132 encourages schools to provide firearms safety education; and


  1. The Be Safe program is a firearms safety curricula designed for children in First through Third Grade, is approved by the Montana Legislature, is approved by the Office of Public Instruction, and is the most common vehicle for delivery of firearms safety education to children in Montana; and


  1. The Missoula City Council encourages all Missoula schools to allow presentation of the Be Safe curricula to classrooms of First through Third Grade students.



  1. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks oversees firearms safety education, Hunter Education, primarily for young and aspiring hunters; and


  1. Hunter Education is delivered to interested persons in the spring and in the fall in the Missoula area; and


  1. The Missoula City Council encourages all interested persons to avail themselves of Hunter Education training opportunity.



  1. Several local firearms safety instructors provide firearms safety classes for adults who wish to be safe and competent with firearms; and


  1. Information about these instructors and classes may be found Online and from local sporting goods stores; and


  1. The Missoula City Council encourages all Missoula people to take advantage of this available education to learn or upgrade knowledge and skills concerning safe firearms storage, possession and use.



  1. People who sell or buy firearms privately have a moral and legal obligation to do so properly; and


  1. A Guide to Private Firearm Sales has been published and is available at:


  1. The Missoula City Council urges anyone contemplating a private sale or purchase of a firearm to review this Guide and make the person's best effort to follow the advice offered in the Guide.


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