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Everytown, Montana Moms Demand Action Criticize House Judiciary Committee Vote on Legislation That Would Allow Untrained, Unlicensed People to Carry Hidden, Loaded Guns in Public

House Bill 262 Seeks to Dismantle Montana’s Current Concealed Carry Licensing System; Governor Bullock Vetoed Similar Legislation Last Session

Helena, MT – The Montana chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today criticized lawmakers in the House Judiciary Committee for voting in favor of House Bill 262, legislation that would dismantle Montana’s current concealed carry licensing system and would allow the public carry of hidden, loaded handguns with no permit and no safety training, including by people convicted of sexual assault and other violent crimes.

A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Steve Bullock during the last legislative session. Montana’s current permitting system ensures that certain core public safety standards are preserved, including requiring applicants to have taken a safety training course, denying a permit to anyone recently convicted of a weapons offense, and providing law enforcement the authority to deny a permit to people who pose a danger to the community. The permitting system is supported by 83 percent of Montanans and has received widespread support from Montana’s law enforcement officials.

STATEMENT FROM ROXANE WEIKEL, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE MONTANA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“Today, lawmakers took a vote against the public safety of Montanans. House Bill 262 is a reckless policy that would allow people with no permit, no safety training and even people convicted of violent crimes to carry hidden, loaded guns in our communities. This legislation is completely counter to our long history of responsible gun ownership and does not align with the will of Montanans, or law enforcement. It’s long past time our lawmakers here in Montana put the safety of our families and children ahead of gun lobby priorities.”