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Thread: Email to/from the Mayor of Billings, MT

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    Email to the Mayor:

    Hello Mr. Mayor,

    My name is Matt Johnston, a citizen here in Billings. I have a question about
    the open carry of firearms in our great state of Montana.

    Montana code (45-8-351) states that the open carry of firearms, whether it be a
    handgun or other weapon, is legal in this state. I strongly believe in our
    Second Ammendment rights as citizens, and would like to preserve it for
    generations to come.

    My question is, what do you think about the open carry of firearms? I know you
    come from a police background, and this is another reason I was wondering of
    your opinion, as I do not know if the Law Enforcement Officers in our town know
    about this law.

    I was not born here in Montana, but I was raised here. Guns were always apart
    of the lifestyle in Montana, being it hunting or target shooting, or for
    personal protection. I hope to preserve these rights, and pass them on to my
    children. Thank God for our privelege to live in the great country we are able
    to live in.

    I apologize for the lengthy email, and understand if you are too busy to reply,
    but I thought I would ask.


    Sincerely,

    Matt Johnston

    Email from the Mayor:

    Matt,

    I support the second amendment but I would caution you that if you started
    walking around town carrying a long gun or with a peacemaker strapped to your
    hip, someone will call and the cops will come and check you out. You won't get
    charged, of course, but with all the school violence recently, is it worth it to
    make that point so publically? If you really need a weapon with you constantly
    you should probably apply for a concealed carry permit with the Sheriff.

    Ron
    __________________________________________________ _________________

    What do you all think? I never mentioned anything about long guns in my email to him, don't know why he brought it up. He is also the former Police Chief.

    Thanks,
    Matt


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    You won't get charged, of course, but with all the school violence recently, is it worth it to make that point so publically?
    Of course we need to make it so publically. To much bad publicity and nobody remembers the real truth.



    Matt

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    Perhaps the mayor thought you meant longgun-with-a-sling carry ? Anyways, I'm not surprised that he would discourage open carry. It seems common in large urban areas even in Pro-2A states. I guess you now have the task of educating people of the legality of open carry.

    ProguninTN

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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Try to round up a handful of likeminded folks in your area who are decent and reasonable. Then start having dinners together at local restaurants while open carrying. You might expect some hassles at first, but as long as you are cool, the locals (citizens and cops) will come around.

    The rights you speak of don't stay around forever in today's politcal climate if they remain unused.

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    Dutch Uncle wrote:
    Try to round up a handful of likeminded folks in your area who are decent and reasonable. Then start having dinners together at local restaurants while open carrying. You might expect some hassles at first, but as long as you are cool, the locals (citizens and cops) will come around.

    The rights you speak of don't stay around forever in today's politcal climate if they remain unused.
    I know we can't CC anywhere alcohol is served (almost every restaurant, unless of the fast food persuasion). Can't immediately find if that applies to OC as well. Now I just need to find more OC people around here.

    Matt

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    is it worth it to make that point so publically? If you really need a weapon with you constantly you should probably apply for a concealed carry permit with the Sheriff
    In other words, We have a lot of whiny blissninnies who panic at the sight of a gun not accompanied by a badge and I don't want to hear my officers complain about having to respond to 'man with a gun' calls. please make my elite life more.....elite by not drawing attention to yourself by exercising your rights.

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    mattjohnston87 wrote:
    Dutch Uncle wrote:
    Try to round up a handful of likeminded folks in your area who are decent and reasonable. Then start having dinners together at local restaurants while open carrying. You might expect some hassles at first, but as long as you are cool, the locals (citizens and cops) will come around.

    The rights you speak of don't stay around forever in today's politcal climate if they remain unused.
    I know we can't CC anywhere alcohol is served (almost every restaurant, unless of the fast food persuasion). Can't immediately find if that applies to OC as well. Now I just need to find more OC people around here.

    Matt
    That's one of the reasons that OC seems tobe growing here in Virginia. People havestarted togettired of not being able to CC where alcohol is served,so instead of disarming, they have come around to the idea of open carry, not just in restaurants, but as their normal mode of carry.

    The only way the public willlearn not to fear guns is for them to regularlysee firearms being safely carried by good citizens. Keep up the good work of educating the public.

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    mattjohnston87 wrote:
    Dutch Uncle wrote:
    Try to round up a handful of likeminded folks in your area who are decent and reasonable. Then start having dinners together at local restaurants while open carrying. You might expect some hassles at first, but as long as you are cool, the locals (citizens and cops) will come around.

    The rights you speak of don't stay around forever in today's politcal climate if they remain unused.
    I know we can't CC anywhere alcohol is served (almost every restaurant, unless of the fast food persuasion). Can't immediately find if that applies to OC as well. Now I just need to find more OC people around here.

    Matt

    how about the answers from this thread???...tha Bobv got from Assistant Attorney General

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum34/1720.html





    From: Sprigg, Sheri
    Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 1:31 PM
    To: Contact DOJ
    Subject: RE: Carrying of pistol where alcohol is served?


    [size=]

    Verbal notification by an employee is sufficient. The establishments are private property, and patrons must comply with the proprietor’s request.



    Sheri Sprigg, Assistant Attorney General


    To me it says CCW til they know you do and can tell you to leave. To me...,if you can CCW you can also OC.

    Where are the specific code in the Montana Gun Laws for NO GUN in alcohol serving establishments?

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    45-8-328. Carrying concealed weapon in prohibited place -- penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited place if the person purposely or knowingly carries a concealed weapon in:
    (a) portions of a building used for state or local government offices and related areas in the building that have been restricted;
    (b) a bank, credit union, savings and loan institution, or similar institution during the institution's normal business hours. It is not an offense under this section to carry a concealed weapon while:
    (i) using an institution's drive-up window, automatic teller machine, or unstaffed night depository; or
    (ii) at or near a branch office of an institution in a mall, grocery store, or other place unless the person is inside the enclosure used for the institution's financial services or is using the institution's financial services.
    (c) a room in which alcoholic beverages are sold, dispensed, and consumed under a license issued under Title 16 for the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.
    (2) It is not a defense that the person had a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon. A person convicted of the offense shall be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months or fined an amount not to exceed $500



    ================================================== ==========

    "It is not an offense under this section to carry a concealed weapon while:"

    What does this mean ???


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    I'm not sure.

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    I might suggest an Open Carry event (like a picnic) somewhere in a public place that's sure to not get you in trouble (such as within 1000 feet of a school). Bring video cameras with you to record any police interaction that may occur. Invite the press, print, radio and TV to attend. Be prepared to conduct interviews and explain who you are, what you are doing, and why. Mentally prepare for "gotcha" questions and think before you speak.

    As for the police, keep things friendly, don't be a jerk, and carry the code in your back pocket.

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    What do "school shootings" have to do with legal, peaceful carrying of arms for self and community defense?

    Typical idiot politico!



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    Pa. Patriot wrote:
    What do "school shootings" have to do with legal, peaceful carrying of arms for self and community defense?

    Typical idiot politico!

    If anything, it is another reason to OC, in my opinion.

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    UTOC-45-44 wrote:
    45-8-328. Carrying concealed weapon in prohibited place -- penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited place if the person purposely or knowingly carries a concealed weapon in:
    (a) portions of a building used for state or local government offices and related areas in the building that have been restricted;
    (b) a bank, credit union, savings and loan institution, or similar institution during the institution's normal business hours. It is not an offense under this section to carry a concealed weapon while:
    (i) using an institution's drive-up window, automatic teller machine, or unstaffed night depository; or
    (ii) at or near a branch office of an institution in a mall, grocery store, or other place unless the person is inside the enclosure used for the institution's financial services or is using the institution's financial services.
    (c) a room in which alcoholic beverages are sold, dispensed, and consumed under a license issued under Title 16 for the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.
    (2) It is not a defense that the person had a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon. A person convicted of the offense shall be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months or fined an amount not to exceed $500



    ================================================== ==========

    "It is not an offense under this section to carry a concealed weapon while:"

    What does this mean ???
    It says that it is OK to carry at a banks ATM, drive-up window, or night deposit that does not need the assistance of a bank employee to deposit intoand at a remote branch as long as you are not entering it where financial transactions are done or using it to do transactions.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    mattjohnston87 wrote:
    If anything, it is another reason to OC, in my opinion.
    AMEN. I agree and the rediculous attitudes of fools like Mr. Mayor is a big reason many of us carry openly.

    But then again, I'm just a "wannabe"

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    This mayor is a member of Michael Bloombergs anti-gun owner coalition.

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    44Brent wrote:
    This mayor is a member of Michael Bloombergs anti-gun owner coalition.
    Don't remind me.....

    He is the former Police Chief as well.

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    I know we can't CC anywhere alcohol is served (almost every restaurant, unless of the fast food persuasion). Can't immediately find if that applies to OC as well. Now I just need to find more OC people around here.


    After my email exchange with the Attorney Generals office I have figured out that OC in restaurants, or other establishments that serve alcohol OK. That is until any employee there asks you to leave or not wear your gun there.

    As you know, CC in any establishment that serves alcohol is against the law.


    If I ever come down to Billings, unlikely but it could happen, I will get in touch beforehand and we can plan a lunch or dinner.

    bob

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    BobR wrote:
    I know we can't CC anywhere alcohol is served (almost every restaurant, unless of the fast food persuasion). Can't immediately find if that applies to OC as well. Now I just need to find more OC people around here.


    After my email exchange with the Attorney Generals office I have figured out that OC in restaurants, or other establishments that serve alcohol OK. That is until any employee there asks you to leave or not wear your gun there.

    As you know, CC in any establishment that serves alcohol is against the law.


    If I ever come down to Billings, unlikely but it could happen, I will get in touch beforehand and we can plan a lunch or dinner.

    bob

    Sounds good Bob. Just let me know ahead of time.


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    mattjohnston87 wrote:
    ...I never mentioned anything about long guns in my email to him, don't know why he brought it up.
    You DID bring it up, by reference: "...whether it be a handgun or other weapon" (my emphasis)

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    BB62 wrote:
    mattjohnston87 wrote:
    ...I never mentioned anything about long guns in my email to him, don't know why he brought it up.
    You DID bring it up, by reference: "...whether it be a handgun or other weapon" (my emphasis)
    True. I was merely quoting the code, though.

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    VApatriot wrote:
    The only way the public willlearn not to fear guns is for them to regularlysee firearms being safely carried by good citizens.
    Well said!
    "You can teach 'em, but you cant learn 'em."

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    Matt, if you are looking for some people around Billing that open carry, I am one of them. If you want to start a local open carry group, let me know.

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    Dutch Uncle wrote:
    Try to round up a handful of likeminded folks in your area who are decent and reasonable. Then start having dinners together at local restaurants while open carrying. You might expect some hassles at first, but as long as you are cool, the locals (citizens and cops) will come around.

    The rights you speak of don't stay around forever in today's politcal climate if they remain unused.
    This is exactly what I'm trying to do at this time in the Kalispell/Flathead Valley area to raise public awareness on the issue and to educate the public on the legality of it! I realize it's not the most socially acceptable thing to do, nor is it "PC" but I'm not the most PC person in the world so I'm not worried about that. In my humble opinion, the more it's done, the more acceptable it will become! If anyone has any ideas or if anyone reading this in the Flathead Valley Area is interested, feel free to drop me a line as I'm always open to suggestions! My kids would argue with this fact (They're still young enough where they think their daddy can do anything), but I'm nowhere near perfect so I can still use all the help I can get!! I would love to make this a successful venture and increase the number of people involved as much as I can!

    Okay, I'll step off my pedestal now. Thanks for listening... er, reading!
    In a crisis you don't rise to the occasion, but rather default to your level of training.

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    I get to Billings quite often ,Ill join a OC group there.



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