HB 262 – Permitless Carry (in other states called “Constitutional Carry”) – Rep. Bill Harris. Since 1991, a concealed weapon permit (CWP) has not been required for a law-abiding person to carry a concealed weapon in 99.4% of Montana – outside the limits of cities or towns. With over two decades of experience that not requiring CWPs for nearly all of Montana has not created any problems, this bill will harmonize the law so a permit will no longer be required for a law abiding person to carry a concealed weapon in the remaining 6/10ths of 1% of Montana, inside cities and towns. This bill would leave the permitting process in place, so citizens who desire them may still obtain CWPs for travel to other states that recognize Montana CWPs, and for firearm purchases at gun stores under the federal Brady Law. This change would exclude criminals from applicability – it would still be illegal for criminals to carry concealed weapons. Another way to explain this is that if a law abiding person were wearing a firearm, this bill would make it legal to put on a coat inside city limits without a government permit to dress for cold or wet weather. This bill was carried last session by Rep. Harris and passed House and Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Bullock.
HB 246 – Firearms in Post Offices – Rep. Randy Brodehl. This bill would prohibit enforcement by state and local officers of federal laws making it a crime to have a firearm in a vehicle in a U.S. Post Office parking lot, or inside a Post Office building.
HB 273 – CWPs and legal immigrants – Rep. Barry Usher. Current law requires that only U.S. citizens may apply for a Montana CWP. This restriction has been stricken by federal courts in other states as a violation of “equal protection” (of the laws) for legal immigrants, who are deemed to have rights protected by the Constitution. This bill will cause Montana law to conform to the equal protection requirements of federal courts.
HB 251 – Exclude various concealed weapons – Rep. Kirk Wagoner. This bill would exclude from concealed weapons laws a variety of weapons listed there, including a dirk, dagger, pistol, revolver, slingshot, sword cane, billy, knuckles made of any metal or hard substance, knife having a blade 4 inches long or longer, and razor. It would leave subject to concealed weapons laws only handguns. This bill would simplify existing law.
-- Gary Marbut, president Montana Shooting Sports Association http://www.mtssa.org Author, Gun Laws of Montana http://www.mtpublish.com