Montana House Endorses Bills to Restrict Local Gun Control

Kalispell representative says bills are in response to Missoula ordinances

By Molly Priddy

HELENA — The Montana House has endorsed two bills seeking to prohibit local governments from passing stricter gun ordinances.

Republican Rep. Matt Regier says his bills are in response to Missoula city ordinances that require background checks for private gun sales and that ban weapons in certain public buildings, parks, places of public assembly and polling sites.

One of Regier’s bills calls for the issue to be put on the ballot if his proposal doesn’t pass the Legislature.

Regier argued Wednesday that local governments cannot regulate the concealed carrying of weapons and said his bills would prevent a patchwork of gun restrictions that could cause confusion.

Democratic Rep. Connie Keogh of Missoula argued city governments are best suited to understand local safety issues.

Both bills are up for a final vote in the House on Thursday.