MISSOULA – Missoula County Commissioners unanimously approved an update to a gun ordinance that limits firearms on county property.
The ordinance was created back in 1995 and provided some protection to county property, but some updates needed to be made to keep the ordinance consistent with current state law.
Also, because the building list from the original ordinance only included around 10 county owned buildings, an update needed to be made to include all county facilities.
The Missoula County Attorney’s Office has been working to update this ordinance and fix some of the inconsistencies with state law.
They removed a county building list and instead made the ordinance good for all county owned buildings, but removed limitations from county-owned grounds or non-structures like lawns or parking lots.
“So for instance, in 1995 the ordinance prohibited firearms on county-owned ground: So, for instance lawns and parking lots owned by Missoula County. And that’s actually something that’s not allowed under state statute, so that’s something that needs to be clarified,” Misssoula Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings said. “The ordinance also prohibited explosives which, clearly, nobody wants in public buildings. But it’s not something that the county can regulate through an ordinance. It’s already illegal under state statute.”
Three organizations had contacted the Missoula County Attorney’s Office with concerns about people following the state’s “open carry” law, including polling places, the public library and the fairgrounds.
Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News