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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Expanded Concealed Carry Bill Heading To Governor

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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A bill to expand carrying options for concealed firearms in public places — including universities — is heading to the governor’s desk after the state Legislature gave its final endorsement of the policy Friday.

On a near-party-line vote, the House of Representatives approved sending House Bill 102 to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk for consideration. 

The bill, carried by Republican Rep. Seth Berglee of Joliet, would allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit in most locations, and with a permit in state and local government buildings. It also limits universities’ ability to regulate guns on campus.

The bill was amended from its original draft to allow judges to prohibit concealed carry in areas of courthouses, to allow campuses to regulate guns at some events, and to strike out the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in bars or restaurants where alcohol is sold.

HB 102 could reach Gianforte’s desk as soon as Monday.

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