Montana Lawmaker: Requiring Concealed Permit Gives Advantage to Criminals

An employee at John Jovino Co. holds a revolver on Thursday, June 26, 2008 in New York. Th
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

On March 12, the Montana Senate gave final approval to HB 298, a bill rescinding the requirement for a concealed carry permit in their state.

Montana already allows concealed carry without a permit outside of cities and towns. HB 298 will simply bring cities and towns into compliance with the rest of the state.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America reacted to the passage by issuing a March 13 statement begging Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) to veto the measure. The group warned that HB 298 “would dismantle Montana’s current concealed carry permit system, enabling people with absolutely no training and people convicted of weapons offenses or sexual assault to carry loaded handguns in public without a permit.”

But proponents of HB 298 have been quick to dismiss the claims of Moms Demand Action by explaining that criminals are not waiting for concealed carry laws to change before carrying a gun. Instead, criminals are preying on law-abiding citizens who don’t carry because of the concealed carry permit system.

According to KXLH 9, state Senator Scott Sales (R-Bozeman) said, “We should stop kidding ourselves. People who want to commit crime aren’t going to pay attention to the concealed carry portion of the law right now.”

It should be noted that West Virginia’s House also passed legislation rescinding the concealed carry permit in their state on March 12. This comes after the West Virginia Senate passed legislation to rescind the requirement on February 27.

The measure the West Virginia House passed now goes back to the Senate, seeking agreement on whether the age for concealed carry will be 18 or 21.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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