Montana AG on Gun Store Raid and Missoula Human Trafficking Case
The first question dealt with the armed IRS raid on a Great Falls firearms dealer this spring and if he had been able to get any further details on the case and the documents contained in the over 20 boxes seized by the agents.
Knudsen explained why he, the state’s Attorney General, was not able to get as many details as he wanted. He said the store owner himself was not fully informed during the raid.
A Caller Asked Knudsen for More Details on the Great Falls Gun Shop Raid
“He didn't get a full warrant, he only got a partial of the warrant,” began Knudsen. “He ( the store owner) is actually the one who gave me what he was served. Obviously, when the Feds and the state show up with a warrant, they have to give you the warrant. But under federal law, they don't have to give you the full warrant. They're allowed to keep a portion of it under seal, which we found out is what happened here. They gave him the actual warrant that says ‘we are here’, signed by the judge and these are the things we're coming to take, but what we didn't get was ‘the why’.”
Another caller asked Knudsen about the fate of several pro-life bills passed in the last legislative session. Knudsen said Democrats opposed to the bills immediately filed suit to stop the bills, even though they had been signed by Governor Gianforte.
Knudsen Detailed Court Challenges on Pro-Life Bills
“As you know, not surprisingly, a liberal judge here in Helena, a former Democrat legislator granted a full injunction blocking all of those laws in what was somewhat of an unprecedented move,” he said. “He didn't take those bills one at a time. He just blanket-enjoined all of them. There were three or four bills involved. That was quite concerning and quite unprecedented, frankly. But I would be lying if I told you that that was a surprise.”
Knudsen Addressed an Ongoing Human Trafficking Case in Missoula
One caller asked about anti-human trafficking legislation and the recent arrests in Missoula in regard to an illicit massage parlor.
“The quick answer to your question is ‘why weren't those people prosecuted’? Because if they did it got a slap on the wrist,” he said. “Because under the old criminal code, it really wasn't worth the prosecution's time to go after those folks. Well, we've changed that because that law has been completely updated. It's now a felony. So that's the answer.”
Knudsen said the new laws have teeth to successfully prosecute the customers of such establishments.
“That law went into immediate effect right upon Governor Gianforte’s signature,” he said. “We did that on purpose. We didn't want it to have a delayed implementation date like a lot of laws do. I will tell you that we've had a number of investigations going on about human trafficking around the state. I can't tip my hand too much here, but rest assured that if the state is involved in those investigations, those people are going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the newly implemented law. It's in place; yes.”
Knudsen is one of the few public officials who relish the opportunity to answer direct questions from KGVO’s listeners.