Angela Loessberg, of the extremist anti-gun group Moms Demand Action, penned a very misleading column last Sunday calling for Gov. Steve Bullock to veto a minor change to Montana’s concealed carry law.
The change would allow concealed weapon permit (CWP) holders to take weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol, but would still prohibit them in bars. The bill is hardly the danger to society that Loessberg represents.
It is already illegal for Montana CWP holders to carry while intoxicated, and one would hope that Loessberg's restaurant doesn't allow patrons to drink to the point of intoxication in the first place.
Additionally, the chance of a CWP holder starting some wild-west shootout is exceedingly low. A report by the Crime Prevention Research center shows that permit holders are by far the safest group in America, with a criminal conviction rate 0.2 percent that of the general population, and six times lower even than police officers. You’re actually safer having CWP holders in your restaurant than armed cops.
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In short, House Bill 494 is a reasonable modification of existing law, which, if anything, makes us safer. Hopefully, Governor Bullock, despite his terrible recent record on gun rights, will see fit to sign it.