Dear MSSA Friends,

MSSA’s Restaurant Carry bill has been introduced as HB 494 by Rep. Seth Berglee.

Under current law, a person with a concealed weapon permit is not allowed to exercise that permit in a restaurant if the restaurant has a liquor license.  HB 494 would remove that restriction for places where the major business is not alcohol.

HB 494 will amend current law with this added language:  “It is not an offense under (Prohibited Places statute – GM) to carry a concealed weapon while patronizing a restaurant where alcoholic beverages are not the chief item of sale.”

HB 494 will soon be assigned to the House Judiciary Committee (probably today) and then will quickly be scheduled for a public hearing.  Be ready to act on HB 494 and I’ll let you know ASAP when a public hearing is scheduled.

Explanation for urgency:  There is a deadline for most bills (ones not about money) in the Legislature, called “transmittal.”  This a mid-session point when all House bills must be transmitted to the Senate, and Senate bills to the House, or they are dead.  That transmittal deadline is coming up on March 1.  It will take HB 494 a minimum of one day for a public hearing and action before committee, a minimum of a day to appear before the House on Second Reading, and another day for Third Reading.  These are absolute minimums.  Committee work and getting to and through Second Reading will probably take longer.  It is because of the looming transmittal deadline that HB 494 will need to move quickly.  Stay tuned on this.

Best wishes,
--   Gary Marbut, president  Montana Shooting Sports Association  Author, Gun Laws of Montana

By mssa