Montana Teachers Union Spends $800K Opposing Gun Rights

In a state like Montana, you probably have a large number of educators who identify with the right when it comes to politics. After all, this is a state Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by more than 20 points in 2016. It’s safe to say that a lot of people there aren’t really liberals, which means that a large number of teachers aren’t.

Despite that, many are probably members of Montana Federation of Public Employees, the union consisting primarily of teachers and other public employees seems to have decided to spend its money on opposing gun control.

Why is the union that is supposed to represent Montana school teachers spending $800,000 to campaign against a referendum on the ballot this November? Does it involve teacher pay? Would it take away the pensions of teachers or public employees? Nope. The teachers union is spending $800,000 to campaign against your gun rights.

Legislative Referendum 130 (LR 130) is strongly backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA).

While talking about the ballot initiatives the other day on the radio, I mentioned this Montana Free Press story noting the big bucks coming from the Montana Federation of Public Employees (MFPE) in opposition to LR 130:

According to campaign finance reports from the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, opponents of the initiative have far outraised supporters, with nearly $800,000 coming from the political action committee of the state’s largest union, the Montana Federation of Public Employees, which represents primarily teachers and government employees. Another $100,000 came from Everytown for Gun Safe Action Fund, the lobbying arm of the national gun safety nonprofit funded by billionaire and former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.

So why would the teachers union be spending nearly a million dollars to lobby against your gun rights? It seems especially odd in a place like Montana where teachers, just like the rest of us, support our 2nd Amendment rights.

To be sure, this looks odd.

But, to be fair, a union spending money on an issue that directly impacts its members would make sense. While I may oppose such a position, I can see a union spending money to oppose a measure that would allow guns in schools, for example.

So just what is LR 130? Well, it’s a measure that would strengthen the state’s preemption law, removing a few exceptions where communities can currently establish their own gun control laws.

That’s it.

Now, I’m not shocked that the leftist who runs the union opposes this measure. Anti-gun leftists often oppose preemption, claiming some newfound concern for federalism even while they try to infringe on our rights at the national level. The idea of the union honcho not liking LR 130 isn’t surprising in the least.

However, spending union money on a measure that really has no tie to anything the union does is something else entirely. Frankly, this is the kind of thing that should warrant a federal investigation. It probably doesn’t under current law, but it probably should. No, not because I don’t like what they’re saying, but because they’re clearly misusing union money to further the union president’s personal political agenda on issues that have no relation to union business.

Frankly, it appears the ball is in the union members’ court. It’s up to them to take issue with the president’s actions and hold her accountable. My most sincere hope is that they not only do, but do so in such a way it becomes clear that this cannot be tolerated.

That should go for those who actually oppose LR 130 as well. After all, how would they have felt of the advertising was going in support of the measure?