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Montana: Permitless Carry on the Governor’s Desk

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Please Contact Governor Schweitzer Today! 

House Bill 271, the permitless carry bill, would amend existing state law requiring a person to obtain a concealed weapon permit in order to discreetly carry a firearm for self-protection within city limits in Montana.  HB 271 simply says that the prohibition on concealed carry does not apply to “a person who is eligible to possess a handgun under state or federal law.”  HB 271 passed in the House on April 12 by a 69 to 29 vote and in the Senate on April 28 by a 29 to 21 vote.  HB 271 is now awaiting action by Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Existing Montana law already allows any law-abiding citizen who can legally possess a handgun to carry it concealed, without a permit, anywhere outside city limits.  So, no carry permit is currently required for law-abiding citizens in over 99% of the state.  It makes no sense to allow them to carry concealed without a permit on one side of the line but not the other!  Law-abiding citizens do not suddenly turn into criminals when they cross the arbitrary boundary into a city.  Additionally, law-abiding citizens are authorized to carry a firearm openly, either loaded or unloaded, anywhere in the state, including within city limits.

The difference between a firearm carried openly and a firearm carried concealed can be as insignificant as the donning of a coat.  It really 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.

Please contact Governor Schweitzer today and respectfully urge him to sign House Bill 271 into law!  The Governor can be contacted by calling (406) 444-3111. You can also send him an e-mail at brianschweitzer@mt.gov or leave a comment for Governor Schweitzer online by clicking here.

Thanks to everyone who communicated with their legislators over these last few months.  Your efforts truly make the difference in passing pro-gun bills through the legislative process!

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.