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MT – SELF-PROTECTION – Montana relaxes gun restrictions, allows guns on campuses

A bill signed into law Thursday by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte removes restrictions on concealed firearms, allowing them to be carried in most places in the state. The law allows concealed firearms to be carried without a permit inside bars and banks. Concealed firearms are now allowed with a permit inside state and local government buildings. On public university campuses, the law will permit firearms to be carried as long as gun owners follow certain training requirements and regulations laid out by the Montana university system board of regents. Private property owners and tenants are allowed to ban firearms on their premises. Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a major ‘constitutional carry’ bill Thursday that will let Montanans carry concealed firearms in public settings including banks and bars without a permit, in addition to limiting university system officials’ ability to restrict firearm possession on college campuses. The measure, House Bill 102, has been described by proponents as a way to enhance Montanans’ Second Amendment rights and promote public safety by making it easier for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves from criminals. Opponents have argued that making it easier for Montanans to keep guns close at hand won’t necessarily promote public safety. “Our Second Amendment is very clear: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” Gianforte said at a bill signing ceremony Thursday afternoon. “Every law-abiding Montanan should be able to defend themselves and their loved ones.” The measure allows concealed firearm possession without a permit by default in most places in the state, with exceptions including secure law enforcement facilities, federal buildings, courtrooms, and K-12 schools. Property owners and tenants would have the ability to expressly prohibit firearm possession in private homes and businesses.  [full article]

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