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Montana sheriffs support current gun laws

by T.J. McDermott & 17 Co-signers | Missoulian.com  |  Published on November 10, 2016

Montana has some of the least-restrictive gun laws in America, which is good. Carrying firearms in Montana is free of many restrictions unless the firearm is concealed. Even Montana’s concealed firearm laws are some of the least restrictive in the nation, which is also good.

The common-sense laws we have are intended to preserve the peace in our cities and towns. They are firmly grounded in the Montana Constitution, which states:

“Article II. Declaration of Rights. Section 12. Right to bear arms. The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.”

A person in Montana may carry a concealed firearm while they are hunting, fishing, hiking, ranching, or on their own property, and the list continues. However, when they enter a city or town, a permit from the county sheriff is required to carry a concealed firearm. Montana’s current laws strike an equitable balance between citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights with as few limitations as possible while also protecting public safety.

When applying for a concealed weapon permit, the applicant is subject to a more thorough background check than the background check done when purchasing a firearm. Your sheriff checks to ensure the person is not wanted for a crime, a past felon, or restricted from carrying firearms for other reasons. The sheriff may deny an applicant a permit to carry a concealed weapon if the sheriff has reasonable cause to believe that the applicant is mentally ill, mentally disordered or mentally disabled, or otherwise may be a threat to the peace and good order of the community to the extent that the applicant should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. At the time an application is denied, the sheriff shall, unless the applicant is the subject of an active criminal investigation, give the applicant a written statement of the reasonable cause upon which the denial is based. Prior to issuing a permit, the sheriff may require the applicant to demonstrate some familiarity/safety with firearms. If these criteria are met, the sheriff must issue a concealed weapon permit.

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