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Montana Moms Demand Action Urge Committee Members to Vote Against Package of Dangerous Gun Bills That Would Compromise Public Safety

House Judiciary Committee to Vote on HB 298 and HB 371; Dangerous Bills Would Allow Montanans to Carry Handguns Without Training or Permits, Allow Guns in Bars

SB 143 Awaiting Vote in House Judiciary Committee; Would Force Colleges to Allow Carry of Loaded Handguns

HELENA, MT — On the day before the House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on two dangerous gun bills that would gravely compromise public safety in the state, the Montana Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is urging lawmakers to vote down a dangerous package of gun bills that would revoke basic training standards for carrying firearms, while also putting more guns in more sensitive places – including bars and college campuses.

Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee will vote on House Bill 298 and House Bill 371.

  • HB 298 would dismantle Montana’s current concealed weapons permit system and instead allow individuals to carry loaded handguns with no training or permitting whatsoever – including people without any experience handling firearms and individuals who have been convicted of weapons offenses.
  • HB 371 would allow people with carry permits to have loaded firearms in any bar, restaurant, concert or other public setting where alcohol is served. Currently, Montana law prohibits guns in places where alcohol is served, but HB 371 would remove this restriction and allow the carry of concealed, loaded handguns in bars.

Additionally, under current law, Montana’s public colleges and universities decide whether to allow guns on their campuses. The House Judiciary Committee has just been sent SB 143 after narrowly passing the Senate, which would force each campus to allow the carry of loaded concealed handguns, revoking the authority for schools to make this critical public safety decision. The gun lobby is trying to force guns onto campuses in the midst of overwhelming opposition – the major stakeholders broadly reject campus carry, including 78 percent of students, 95 percent of college presidents, and 89 percent of police chiefs.

STATEMENT FROM PAMELA OWEN, VOLUNTEER WITH THE MONTANA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION:

“Right now, our lawmakers are considering a package of dangerous gun bills that would not only rollback common-sense permitting requirements, but also allow guns in sensitive places like bars and college campuses where they don’t belong. Like all moms, my top priority is my family’s safety and the laws currently proposed do nothing but hamper public safety in our state. You have to ask yourself, ‘Why would we think it is a good idea to allow loaded guns to be carried into more public places like our children’s college campuses or our neighborhood bars, and at the same time remove all the training requirements to carry that loaded gun in the first place?’ It just doesn’t make sense and our legislators should vote against these dangerous bills.”