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Guns Missoula Montana Politics

Montana Republicans continue advancing a referendum for more guns for more people in more places

A Montana legislative referendum, LR-130, would allow convicted felons and the mentally incompetent to buy guns and carry them in parks and playgrounds.

Consider that in the wake of more than 31 dead from mass shootings this past week.

And LR-130 is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to gun legislation in Montana. We’ll start first with this summation from the lawsuit filed by the City of Missoula challenging the ballot’s language:

The 2019 Legislature submitted this proposal for a vote. LR-130 generally restricts a county, city, town, consolidated local government, or other other local government unit’s authority to regulate firearms. It removes a local government unit’s power to regulate the carrying of permitted concealed weapons or to restrict the carrying of unconcealed firearms except in publicly owned and occupied buildings under the local government’s jurisdiction. It repeals a local government unit’s authority to prevent or suppress the possession of firearms by convicted felons, adjudicated mental incompetents, illegal aliens and minors. Local firearm ordinances that conflict with LR-130 could not be enforced.

Here’s a sidebar from a Missoula attorney I spoke with:

It literally repeals a local government’s ability to prevent possession of firearms by convicted felons and adjudicated mental incompetents. Isn’t this what Trump just called for? It also requires local governments to allow for open and concealed carry in public parks and playgrounds.

LR-130 will be on the 2020 ballot thanks to legislators Derek Skees (R-Kalispell) and Matt Regier (R-Columbia Falls). It’s from state representatives of the party that espouses small government and local control (unless the ordinances run counter to NRA and Republican interests).

The referendum proposed by Skees and Regier is in response to a Missoula City Council ordinance that has the audacity to require background checks for anyone buying a firearm. Currently, gun shows and private sales are exempt from this requirement under state and federal law.

Apparently, only stable, law abiding citizens buy weapons from private parties and at gun shows.

Republican legislators continue to push for teachers packing heat in classrooms but turned a deaf ear to Montana high school kids asking for firearm education in schools (HB 477). That subject, however, is for another post.

Let the bloodshed continue.



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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.


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