I urge you, in the strongest terms, to sign HB 262 into law, a bill to remove the “city limits” exception to the state’s permitless carry law.
I agree with Gun Owners of America that this is one of the most important bills that will come before you this year.
Two years ago, when you vetoed a permitless carry bill, you stated the bill “would effectively eliminate Montana’s concealed weapon permitting process.”
But this was not true at all. That bill (HB 298) would have left the permitting system entirely in place.
And the same is true for HB 262 — it will NOT affect reciprocity in any way, or affect people’s ability to use their permits to bypass Brady checks.
Remember, permitless carry is already the law in 99.4% of the state. So why should Montanans who live in urban areas be treated as second class citizens? Are they less trustworthy than those who live in the country?
Permitless carry states are some of the safest states in the country. Just look at Maine and Vermont, which enjoy two of the lowest crime rates in the country.
And what about West Virginia, which just enacted permitless carry last year? A half year later, law enforcement says they have “not noticed an increase in gun violence since the law went into effect six months ago.”
This should not be a surprise. Alaska enacted Constitutional Carry in 2003; Arizona followed in 2010. Both states saw their murder rates decline by 30% in the first five years.
Citizens benefit when states recognize their residents’ God-given rights to protect themselves against criminals.
And that’s why I encourage you to sign HB 262 into law.
Please let me know what you intend to do.