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Montana town bans guns entirely in public places

Clockwise starting at topleft: Glock G22, Glock G21, Kimber Custom Raptor, Dan Wesson Commander, Smith & Wesson Air Weight .357, Ruger Blackhawk .357, Ruger SP101, Sig Sauer P220 Combat. (Joshuashearn/Wikimedia Commons)
October 19, 2018
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On Monday, Montana’s Missoula City Council banned all firearms in public places when they approved two new laws.

One of the laws, an emergency ordinance, became effective upon passing because of the upcoming general election that takes place on Nov. 6, according to Montana Public Radio.

The other will become law in 30 days.

The two laws will ban anyone from possessing a firearm in public assemblies or anywhere that the City Council may gather. This will include places like museums, public parks, libraries, and during any events that are related to elections.

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These laws replaced old laws that only prohibited firearms in public schools and City Hall.

Marty Rehbein, the city clerk and legislative services director of the Missoula County Attorney’s Office said the Missoula Public Library and the Missoula Art Museum requested the emergency amendment, the Missoulian reported.

“There has been some concern about open and concealed carry at polling places. So the county attorney’s office has kind of found a gray area in the laws with respect to whether that’s allowed or not. A lot of the polling places are in schools, and there’s no open carry or concealed carry allowed in public schools. But there are a considerable amount of polling locations that are not in schools and so this was kind of a gray area of the city’s law,” Rehbein said.

On the afternoon of Feb. 14, 2018 when a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and killed 17 people, the way that many people felt about guns changed.

State legislators started working feverishly on gun restrictions and around 50 new gun control laws have been passed across the country regarding who can possess them, where they can be carried, and what kind, according to PEW.

“Legislators are starting to realize that mass shootings can happen in their state anytime. And they don’t want to be in a position that this kind of thing can happen in their state at all,” said Allison Anderman, the managing attorney at the Gifford’s Law Center.

Evan Hughes, the vice president of NRA Foundation Projects at the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs said these bans are “unenforceable and will do nothing to deter violent crime.”

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