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Montana's Funky Restaurant Carry Laws - Can Someone Explain

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Evergreen, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Do you know how much of the gun must be visible for it to not be "concealed"? Are IWB holsters ok? Also, haven't found anything on this yet but is there any rule prohibiting drinking while open carrying?
     
  2. patmccoy

    patmccoy Member

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  3. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Looks interesting. My question though was about Montana law as it stands now, not 2 years ago, when the newest edition of that book was published.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  4. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Maybe you could check with the local authorities when you actually arrive in our fine state....
     
  5. patmccoy

    patmccoy Member

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    The Montana legislature only meets in odd numbered years. I just emailed the author, and he replied that everything is current in the 5th edition.
     
  6. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Unless the "local authorities" are considerably different in Montana than they are in most other states, there's no reason to believe that they know the particular nuances of these kinds of laws any better than the people on this forum.
     
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  7. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Besides that, it is not a good idea to wait till you actually arrive in a state to look into the laws. That's something that should be done well before arrival.
     
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  8. patmccoy

    patmccoy Member

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    [QUOTEUnless the "local authorities" are considerably different in Montana than they are in most other states, there's no reason to believe that they know the particular nuances of these kinds of laws any better than the people on this forum.][/QUOTE]

    Very true. Our local sheriff says he'll arrest me if I open carry in a bank or place where booze is served, and base it on MT statute 45-8-328 (the concealed carry statute) and cannot give any other statute citation. Cops are not the best folks to ask about the laws.
     
  9. CaptHank

    CaptHank Member

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    When I retired, I had three places on my list to move. Newcastle, WY, Roundup, MT and south Florida. Flew into Denver, rented a car to make the trip to Newcastle. Well, this was at the end of April and encountered a major storm while on I-25. Was able to turn around, headed back to Denver and changed my flight the next day. I'm in South Florida.

    Didn't know Montana gun laws were so tricked up, until now.
     
  10. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Prior to this young ladies high profile murder Georgia had some pretty senseless and confusing carry laws too.

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=mered...0ab384794a700f7957598fafe&cc=US&setlang=en-US

    We used to have the same requirement about places that serve alcohol and lots of very vague wording about other places. It was literally up to the individual officer and a judge to decide if it was legal to carry in certain places and times the way the law was worded. For example you couldn't carry at a public gathering, but public gathering was never defined.

    At the time of Ms Emersons murder even while hiking in a National Forest it would have been impossible to legally carry. In some places yes, 100 yards farther down the trail no. With a hunting license it would have been legal in some places, but only with a handgun legal for the game in season. That meant only a 22 at times, only a 357 mag or larger at other times, and nothing if no hunting were open or if you didn't have a hunting license. In other places no carry at all regardless.

    Our system was a mess. But shortly after her murder the GA legislature came to their senses and simplified a lot of things. I have no complaints about how our carry laws work at this point. Hopefully Montana will not need a high profile situation to prompt them to do the same.
     
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  11. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    This has been a difficult thread for me but let me ask you this- how many states CAN you pack a loaded handgun into bar and consume alcohol?
    J
     
  12. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Quite a few actually, including Montana, unless I missed something. It's challenging keeping up with all the little nuances of these things. Here in Ohio, it used to be that you couldn't carry at all, open or concealed, in places that served alcohol for consumption on the premises. So Pizza Hut, Applebees etc. was off limits, didn't matter if you were drinking or not. That's changed now and you can carry concealed or openly, as long as you have a concealed carry permit, in bars as long as you're not drinking or under the influence. As far as I can tell though, Ohio is one of a minority of states that has a specific prohibition about drinking at all while carrying. It seems, (again, unless I missed something) that it's legal to drink while carrying in MT as long as it's open carry.
     
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  13. Evergreen

    Evergreen Member

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    Oddly, quite a few, including my home state of Oregon.. Not sure if the liberals changed the laws since I left home.. Idaho is in a grey area there. It is not illegal to conceal carry a gun and drink, but if an officer doesn't like you been drinking you are in trouble. THat may have more to do with Idaho's law about what counts as being intoxicated rather than specifically the gun laws, themselves. Georgia I believe you can consume and pack as long as your under 0.08. There are a few other states who allow that including Texas I believe from reading over their concealed handgun laws from the government website. Obviously, drinking and carrying a gun is not always the best idea, but this thread is basically about the laws in various states. In the case of Montana, it goes well beyond people who are drinking.

    The problem with Montana's conceal carry laws is it so easily puts people who would pretty much be law-abiding carriers in most other free states, such as being completely sober, going to a grocery that has wine tastings or just going to lunch with your family at a favorite restaurant that happens to serve beer (and not even having one). It's just kind of funny that they will allow people to open carry and do the same exact activity as if suddenly concealing the gun makes you go from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde. I am pretty sure the whole restrictions on conceal carry go back to the Wild West days when it was commonplace for people to carry their firearm openly on their hip to the saloon, the bank or wherever they would go. However, I was reading somewhere that it was very odd for people ever to conceal their weapons in the Wild West days, as it was mostly done by thieves, assassins and other people involved in illicit activities. Anyhow, I cannot exactly pin how these laws managed to come to be, but they are what they are.. In fact, North Carolina also had a few laws very similar and it was my CHL instructor who told me that they go all the way back to the colonial times (NC was one of the Original 13 Colonies) where carrying your firearm openly was considered respectable. In North Carolina you are actually allowed to drink (not be drunk) with an open carried firearm, but if you drink while your gun is concealed you will go to jail.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  14. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Just so we're clear, in NC, it's illegal to drink while your gun is concealed. That doesn't mean you'll go to jail. (Actually, if your gun is concealed and stays that way, more than likely nothing will happen at all). We've touched on this here and there throughout this thread. What the law is is often not the same thing as what reality is. Still good to know what the law is of course.
     
  15. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Well that's a common theme of your's.

    But the reality is that while it might be common for local authorities to, in the exercise of their discretion, to not necessarily vigorously enforce a particular law, one cannot, and should not, count on it.

    To suggest in any way otherwise is grossly irresponsible.
     
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  16. Evergreen

    Evergreen Member

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    Bearcreek, of course laws are not always enforced. However, as Frank stated in his post, we are just discussing about what the laws are as written and how they could be enforced if law enforcement so wishes to do so. As far as me, I don't really like gambling and try to be as law abiding as I can. As well, when I consider where I want to live I want the laws to be as appealing to me as possible and not depend on the mentality of the local Police or Sheriff to not enforce such laws and give me a pass. I would go as far to say if you were stopped in Mecklenburg county, North Carolina (A MUst Inform State) and the officer asked if you were drinking or says he smells alcohol on you and you said you had a gun concealed you could very likely end up in a jail cell. Whereas in a more rural county in North Carolina they wouldn't bother doing that to you.

    Of course, if nobody knows you are violating a law and you don't say anything, then of course you won't go to jail. But that is not the point of this discussion. It is what are the laws, not about not getting caught or if the local authorities will enforce it if you are caught breaking it.

    The only exception I can think about is if the local county government or local city police force outright states they will not enforce a law or refuse to charge someone for violating a certain law and literally spell it out in some kind of county or city legal code. For example, the Colorado Sheriffs who claimed their counties were a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary, etc. If a state has such lack of preemption and a county can make such rules then I guess that is the law. Or, even if the state has such preemption, then I guess you can feel confident in not being arrested until state or federal authorities crack down on a county or city government for usurping the state laws. This situation , of course, would not be so common and usually works in the wrong direction for gun owners. For example, cities (like Boulder, CO and Pittsburgh, PA) illegally enforcing their own Assault Weapon Ban which violated their state preemption laws.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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