BILLINGS, Mont. - While Governor Bullock addressed the state on the latest COVID-19 response efforts, a group called The Freedom Protection Project held a rally at the Edwards Jet Center in Billings on Tuesday.

Jerry Steed, president of the Freedom Protection Project, argues restrictions on large gatherings are a violation of the First Amendment.  Right now, Yellowstone County is under a health order restricting all gatherings to 25 people or fewer. He says their group is also against Governor Bullock's decision to use the CARES Act funds to enforce restrictions on small businesses.

"All of these unconstitutional mandates totally goes against our rights as Americans," he said. "I think it's our duty now to stand up for freedom right now and honor those who have fought for that freedom. That's our duty."

State and local COVID-19 mandates are enforceable by law as long as Montana is under a state of emergency.

State Medical Officer Greg Holzman said on Tuesday, "if we let the virus spread widely in our communities, some individuals will pay the ultimate price with their health and possibly even their life."

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