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U.S. veterans can now receive a discount at state parks and Fish, Wildlife & Parks wardens will now need a warrant to conduct searches.

The laws, passed during the 2019 Legislature, take effect on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Under House Bill 423, any veteran of the armed forces can camp at a Montana state park at a discounted rate, provided they offer proof. Forms of identification that meet the new law's specifications include a Department of Defense form 214, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs identification card, or a driver's license indicating the person's veteran status.

Under HB 348, game wardens can no longer conduct searches of tents, boats or vehicles without a warrant, although some exceptions apply. Rep. Mark Noland, R-Bigfork, had testified in favor of the bill, which passed the House 97-3.

“We must ensure our rights as a free society,” he said during legislative testimony, and ensure no “overbearing warden” exceeds his or her authority.

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