BOZEMAN, Mont. – The Gallatin County Commission approved an ordinance which will expand permitted concealed carry in most county buildings and properties.
The new ordinance will take effect on Aug. 5 and allow for permitted concealed carry of weapons in county buildings except for Gallatin County Detention Center and the Law and Justice Center.
The county commission changed some county rules to go along with House Bill 102 which allows concealed or open carry weapons without a permit in most places in the state with exceptions at K-12 schools, law enforcement centers, private property, federal buildings and courtrooms.
The county’s ordinance still does not allow open carry or concealed carry without a permit in county buildings.
The 18th Judicial District Court Judges at the Law and Justice Center also issued a standing order in late June prohibiting firearms and weapons, permit or not, in their building and the Gallatin County Detention Center.
Gallatin County Undersheriff Jeremy Kopp said the actual layout of the Law and Justice Center does not completely separate the public from the judges which warrants the standing order.
“The legislation was set knowing that that exclusion needed to be available just because of the emotions that exist when you have victims, you have suspects, you have witnesses, you have people that are part of the judicial process and they’re all congregating in the same area," Kopp said.
The violation of purposely or knowingly bringing a weapon into either the Law and Justice Center or the Detention Center is a misdemeanor with a fine up to $500 and/or jail time of up to six months.
“The fine line is we support people’s rights, the legislation passed rights for people to be able to carry concealed and we enforce people rights just as much as we enforce law, the sweet spot is creating a safe space where spaces need to be safe," Kopp said.