On Monday, Montana’s Missoula City Council banned all firearms in public places when they approved two new laws.
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.
The laws supersede previous laws that only banned weapons in City Hall and private school buildings. The final vote was 8-3.
Council member Julie Merritt proposed the changes in September as both an emergency amendment and an update to an existing city ordinance after concerns were raised about open and concealed carrying of weapons in polling places. Weapons aren’t allowed in schools, where many polling places are. But there are also voting sites that are not school based.
"It was brought to our attention that the county attorneys office fields quite a few questions from the public about concealed carry in certain places, including polling places," Merritt said.
She wanted to clarify and expand the ordinance to include polling places as well as other public places. The emergency amendment route was needed in order to have the ordinance in place by the Nov. 6 election.