HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court has ruled ballot language for a legislative referendum that would restrict local governments -- including Missoula -- from enacting background checks for gun purchases will stand, as is, on the 2020 ballot.
LR 130 would restrict a county, city, town or other local government's authority to regulate the carrying of concealed weapons.
That means local governments wouldn't be able to regulate where a permitted concealed weapon is allowed - or restrict the open carry of firearms - except in local government buildings. A local government also wouldn't be able to require background checks in their jurisdiction.
The city of Missoula passed a background check ordinance in 2016, but that law is currently being challenged in court.
Opponents of LR 130 argue, among other things, the referendum's wording of "other local government unit" would mean schools couldn't regulate firearms at their buildings or public gatherings.
Montana voters will decide the fate of LR 130 in the 2020 general election.