Gov. Bullock indicates he’ll veto concealed-carry bill - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Gov. Bullock indicates he’ll veto concealed-carry bill

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Gov. Steve Bullock Gov. Steve Bullock

Gov. Steve Bullock indicated Thursday he’s going to veto a bill that would allow anyone who legally owns a gun in Montana to carry a concealed weapon, without a permit.

House Bill 262, sponsored by Rep. Bill Harris, R-Winnett, passed the Senate on Wednesday and is on its way to the governor’s desk.

At his weekly meeting with Capitol reporters, Bullock said Thursday he’ll “take a close look” at the bill before deciding, but that if it’s the same concealed-weapon bill he vetoed in 2013 and 2015, he’d have the same problems with it.

Harris’ HB262 is identical to the bills Bullock vetoed in the previous two sessions.

Each bill says anyone who can legally possess a handgun in Montana cannot be required to have a permit, to carry a concealed weapon.

Under current law, carrying a concealed weapon in Montana is a crime inside any city or town limits – unless you have a permit. More than 50,000 Montanans have a concealed-weapons permit, which are issued by county sheriffs.

Bullock said Montana already is a “shall-issue state,” meaning that if you meet certain qualifications, the sheriff will issue you a permit.

Denials are “very, very infrequent,” the governor said.

“I don’t know that the answer is to eliminate the concealed-weapon permitting process and let anybody make their own determination if they’re qualified, just as we don’t want to do that with teen drivers, or doctors, or anyone else from that perspective,” he said.

Bullock also said the bill would create a problem with “reciprocity,” meaning if Montana wipes out its permitting process, Montanans with permits may not be able to carry their concealed weapon in other states.

When HB262 reaches his desk, Bullock has 10 days to decide whether to veto or sign it.

About Mike Dennison

MTN Chief Political Reporter Mike Dennison joined MTN News in August 2015 after a 23-year career as a newspaper reporter covering Montana politics and state government. While some may believe that politics are boring, Mike firmly believes that's not the case if you tell the story with pizzazz and let people know why the story is important.
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