Montana voters have decided to reduce local governments’ authority to regulate firearms.
In Tuesday’s election, voters approved LR-130 by a slim margin — 51% to 49%.
With the passage of LR-130, local governments can no longer regulate the carry of permitted, concealed weapons or restrict the open carry of firearms except in public buildings within the governments’ jurisdiction. Local governments also cannot prevent the possession of firearms by convicted felons, people with mental illness, undocumented immigrants or children.
“LR-130 protects us from entities in the future enacting stricter gun laws than exist at the state level,” said state Rep. Matt Regier, R-Columbia Falls, who sponsored the bill to place LR-130 on the ballot.
He said LR-130 prevents Montana from having a patchwork of local gun ordinances, which could be difficult to track and comply with.
Several cities in Montana have rules prohibiting open or concealed carry at public gatherings or in parks or cemeteries that, with the passage of LR-130, may be illegitimate. For instance, the ordinances in Libby and Culbertson banning guns in cemeteries are likely no longer legal, and Helena likely won’t be able to continue requiring concealed carriers to alert local authorities if they visit or live in the city.
(2020 General Elections)
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