Gun ruling unlikely to affect Montana; experts say issue likely headed to SupCo

Gun ruling unlikely to affect Montana; experts say issue likely headed to SupCo

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed several gun laws during the 2021 Legislature. (MTN News) As the Montana Legislature expanded where Montanans can carry guns concealed, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals has ruled that carrying weapon in public is not a constitutional right. Though the ruling would seem to fly in the face of lawmakers’ efforts, legal scholars say the decision won’t likely have a direct impact on Montana, though it’s part of the Ninth Circuit in the federal court system. Instead, most agree that a patchwork of decisions on the Second Amendment make it increasingly likely that the United States Supreme Court will tackle the issue soon. The Ninth Circuit was divided on the matter, which stemmed from a case in Hawaii. At the heart of the matter was whether Hawaii could essentially ban open carrying of firearms in public, and if the Aloha State’s strict concealed-carry permitting process violated the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. In its lengthy ruling , the court said the Second Amendment protects a citizen’s right to purchase or own firearms and carry them on his or her own private property, or defend it. However, the circuit court ruled that the Constitutional protection ended at the property line, and that state officials could determine gun laws and rules for carrying guns outside of private property. Anthony Johnstone, a law professor at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, said the court’s ruling won’t likely affect any legislation the […]

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