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Permitless Carry and Firearm Destruction Bill on the Move in Montana

Friday, February 18, 2011

Contact your state Representative today!

Yesterday, February 17, one pro-gun and one anti-gun bill were passed by the House Judiciary Committee.  These bills are now up for consideration by the state House.

NRA-supported House Bill 271, sponsored by state Representative Krayton Kerns (R-Laurel), would allow persons eligible to apply for a Concealed Weapons Permit to carry concealed without a permit within city limits.  Existing law allows any law-abiding citizen who can legally own/possess a firearm to carry it openly, either loaded or unloaded, anywhere in the state.  Additionally, law-abiding citizens are authorized to carry firearms concealed, without a permit, anywhere outside city limits.  Law-abiding citizens do not suddenly turn into criminals when they cross the arbitrary boundary into a city.  The difference between a firearm carried openly and a firearm carried concealed can be as insignificant as the donning of a coat.  It makes no sense to require a law-abiding citizen to pay a fee, endure a relatively significant bureaucratic process, be subjected to fingerprinting, obtain the government’s permission and be added to a government-maintained list of firearm owners simply so they can wear a coat.

Anti-gun House Bill 496, sponsored by state Representative Mike Menahan (D-Helena), would allow the destruction of firearms that were misused to commit a violent crime.  Existing law provides a process for the disposal of firearms in the custody of law enforcement.  The firearm must be sold to a license dealer, someone who is known as a law-abiding individual.  The dealer, in turn, must go through a sales process that will result in the firearm being sold to a buyer who undergoes a background check to ensure that he or she is a law-abiding citizen.  This rational process results in the generation of additional revenue which will provide a savings to taxpayers.  Not only would this revenue not be generated if firearms were destroyed, but taxpayers’ dollars would be spent to destroy the items of value.  This is a double-whammy to the taxpaying public at a time when most government entities are grappling with budgetary issues.

Please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to SUPPORT HB 271 and OPPOSE HB 496.  All legislators may be contacted by calling (406) 444-4800 or click here to send an e-mail.  If you need help identifying your state Representative, click here.  

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