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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Veto Likely For Two Gun Bills Passed By State Senate

The House of Representatives gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill meant to preserve Montanans' right to bear arms by prohibiting the enforcement of any federal ban on firearms.
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The Montana Senate Wednesday passed two gun-rights bills that are virtual copies of bills the Governor vetoed in the last session.

Libby Republican Chas Vincent presented his bill to eliminate the need for gun owners to obtain a concealed-carry permit. Vincent says it’s a minor change, since permits have not been needed outside city limits in Montana for over two decades.

"Since 1991, everybody’s been able to carry concealed outside of city limits. So for 24 years, and there hasn’t been any data to suggest that that has been a bad policy," said Vincent.

Democrat Robyn Driscoll of Billings said the bill was a pointless exercise.

"This bill has been around as long as I’ve been here. It comes here every year. It either gets killed on the floor of either one of the bodies or the governor vetoes it."

The Senate passed the concealed-carry bill, and another bill that would bar state agencies from enforcing any new federal gun restrictions. Both bills are one vote away from going to the governor’s desk, where similar bills received the “veto” stamp from Governor Bullock in 2013.

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