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Our state Legislature is working to ensure that the next time a district court judge, a juror, a deputy, a commissioner or a member of the public (perhaps your spouse, son or daughter) is shot dead in a public building where weapons are prohibited by local ordinance, it will be done by someone permitted to carry a concealed weapon, not some commoner just packing a pistol. What a comfort.

HB325, having passed the Montana House, is now heading to the Senate. It forbids cities and counties from prohibiting permitted concealed weapons from public buildings. Period. If Yellowstone County wants to (or does) prohibit all firearms from the courthouse or create procedures to catch those trying to bring in guns, HB325 will not allow validly elected commissioners to include permitted concealed guns in that ban.

Why, if particular counties or cities believe it necessary to legislate a ban on all guns in their public buildings? Is obtaining a concealed carry permit application also a psychological exam? A security clearance? A guarantee that a permittee won't go off the rails later, like a horribly hurt and disappointed husband in a divorce case? Someone with a family member or friend about to be sentenced? A father in court supporting his daughter, the victim of an alleged rape?

HB325 has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It threatens everyone’s safety in hazardous public circumstances. If you agree, contact your senators right this minute to kill it.

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Tom Stonecipher

Bozeman

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