The Montana House of Representatives advanced this week a bill that will expand its rural permitless carry laws into a universal constitutional carry statue.
The bills passed along party lines 60-39 and would update to the state’s concealed carry laws while potentially setting the stage for a potential Tenth Amendment challenge with the federal government.
Rep. Bill Harris, R-Helena, sponsor of the permitless carry proposal, argues that nearly a dozen states in the country already codify the right to carry without a permit.
His legislation, HB 262, is a simple one-page act that would allow the carry of concealed firearms in the state without a permit providing the resident can legally possess a firearm. Currently, the state enjoys a rural form of constitutional carry, with permits only required inside city limits. If signed into law, the patchwork system would be homogenized statewide with no permits needed.
With open carry without a permit legal in the state, Second Amendment groups with the Montana Sports Shooting Association argue an expansion to cover concealed firearms is logical.
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