MATT GOURAS Associated Press Writer HELENA
A bill that aims to clarify and expand gun rights easily cleared the Montana Senate on Tuesday, and is getting very close to clearing the Legislature. The measure came to the full Senate floor with significant changes from the version that came from the House. Supporters hashed out a deal with police and prosecutors over the past couple of weeks. The version the Senate Judiciary Committee sent to the floor, where it was endorsed 40-10, stripped out a provision that would let anyone legally allowed to have a gun carry it in town without a concealed weapon permit. The measure still clarifies that people don't have an obligation to first run away before using a gun in self defense. And it still says people who use self-defense should not be presumed guilty by police, and that landlords can't limit the gun rights of tenants. The National Rifle Association and Montana Shooting Sports Association have made the bill a priority.