Letter to the editor: Precedent for limiting firearms

I wish to thank the Board of Regents for voting unanimously to challenge House Bill 102 in court following the listening session. Two constitutional issues are at stake. The Montana Constitution gives the regents sole authority to manage the Montana University System, which the “campus carry” portion of HB 102 would supersede. Supporters of HB 102 argue that the Second Amendment gives anyone the right to bear arms, therefore guns should be allowed on college campuses. One caller into the meeting cited this as a reason for why the regents should not pursue judicial review. But Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in the 2008 DC vs. Heller decision, said that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” and that nothing in the court’s decision “should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions … or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings” (university campuses are both). Having spent the majority of my professional life on a college campus, and having seen firsthand my share of troubled students, I believe having guns on campus is a recipe for disaster. I applaud the regents for moving forward to challenge this law.

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