Friday, May 2, 2014

Montana: Update--Lawmaker Seeks to Repeal State's "Castle Doctrine," Gun Owners MUST Comply with Firearms Law

According to, it has often been said that the "it is the minority of any grouping that spoils things for everyone else."

Nothing could be more transparent than Markus Kaarma, a 29-year-old US Forest Service firefighter, who ignored a good number of the National Rifle Association's (NRA) Precepts of Firearms Safety when he shot and killed an unarmed German foreign exchange student early on Sunday (April 27):

The fatal shooting occurred in Missoula.

Worse, Kaarma fired four rounds from a shotgun into a darkened garage which precluded him from comprehending that an unarmed high school student was in his garage.

The unarmed HS student, 17-year-old Diren Dede, from Hamburg, died instantly.

COMMENT: It should be noted that all US states currently have concealed-carry laws on their books. 

One issue that may arise during Kaarma's murder trial by the prosecution is whether Mr. Kaarma ever completed an NRA-sanctioned firearms safety course.

If he cannot produce a training course certificate, it may not sit well with a jury.
  Another issue that may well arise in Markus Kaarma's murder trial is with firearms on premises, did Kaarma have sufficient physical security at his home to prevent the theft of firearms? 

The fact that Kaarma was monitoring alarm sensors in anticipation of an intruder, he should have FIRST remotely illuminated the garage and determining whether the intruder was posed a threat to him.

Given Kaarma's apparent shoot-first attitude, he should have taken an NRA-sponsored firearms course FIRST, in order to avoid the murder trial he now faces.

The fact that Diren Dede breached the garage suggests that Kaarma's home was poorly secured.

On May 1, 2014, Montana Representative Ellie Boldman Hill, a Democrat from Missoula, said Dede's death has prompted her to draft legislation that would strip the state law of stand-your-ground provisions.

Unfortunately, Markus Kaarma's defense counsel plans to use the "stand your ground" defense against a murder charge in which the victim was "unarmed."

As an NRA firearms instructor, I have said for years that if a firearms owner is incapable of complying with the NRA's ten safety rules, they should be banned from legally possessing a firearm.

Kaarma, a 29-year-old US Forest Service firefighter, told police that while watching on a video monitor he had seen a male in his garage. He was charged on Monday (April 28) with homicide.

Gary Marbut, president of Montana Shooting Sports Association, said he would oppose any such proposed stripping of the "stand your ground" rule.

At the moment, Republicans outnumber Democrats significantly. 

Julia Reinhardt, spokeswoman for the German Consulate in San Francisco, said a parallel investigation into the death is being conducted in Hamburg.