2015 Montana Legislature
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HOUSE BILL NO. 457
INTRODUCED BY M. MONFORTON, A. DOANE, C. FISCUS, J. HINKLE, D. MORTENSEN, M. NOLAND, R. PINOCCI, S. STAFFANSON
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT SUBMITTING TO THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF MONTANA AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE II, SECTION 12, OF THE MONTANA CONSTITUTION TO CONFORM THE EXISTING MONTANA CONSTITUTION TO MODERN CULTURE BY REMOVING LANGUAGE REGARDING CONCEALED WEAPONS INITIALLY USED IN THE 1884 MONTANA TERRITORIAL CONSTITUTION; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE."
WHEREAS, the language of Article II, section 12, of the Montana Constitution is unchanged since it was first adopted as part of the Montana Territorial Constitution in 1884; and
WHEREAS, the language of this provision was retained in the 1889 Montana Statehood Constitution and the 1972 Montana Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the exception concerning concealed weapons that was included in the 1884 Territorial Constitution was a feature of the culture at that time; and
WHEREAS, in 1884, a person who concealed a firearm was considered to be an undesirable person; and
WHEREAS, Montana culture has changed in the 131 years since the adoption of the Montana Territorial Constitution; and
WHEREAS, since lawful citizens openly carrying firearms may be offensive or disturbing to some individuals, a new culture has evolved in Montana that views the discreet carrying of firearms to be more culturally acceptable.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Article II, section 12, of The Constitution of the State of Montana is amended to read:
60; "Section 12. Right to bear arms. The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons."
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Two-thirds vote required. Because [section 1] is a legislative proposal to amend the constitution, Article XIV, section 8, of the Montana constitution requires an affirmative roll call vote of two-thirds of all the members of the legislature, whether one or more bodies, for passage.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Effective date. If approved by the electorate, [this act] is effective January 1, 2017.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Submission to electorate. [This act] shall be submitted to the qualified electors of Montana at the general election to be held in November 2016 by printing on the ballot the full title of [this act] and the following:
 160; YES on Constitutional Amendment ___.
 160; NO on Constitutional Amendment ___.
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