Montana regents vote to challenge new campus gun carry law

Montana regents vote to challenge new campus gun carry law

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The board that oversees Montana’s university system voted unanimously Wednesday to file a lawsuit against the state seeking a ruling over whether the state Legislature or the Board of Regents has the constitutional authority to regulate the possession of guns on campuses. The vote directed the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education to file a legal challenge to House Bill 102 , which, in part, would allow students and staff who meet safety certifications to carry concealed firearms without a permit on campuses starting June 1. “While the board respects the role of its partners in the legislature, the board has determined it must seek clarity through the courts on whether HB102 encroaches upon the board’s authority to properly and independently administer the Montana university system,” the board said in a statement. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Seth Berglee of Joliet, issued a statement saying that it is “unfortunate that the Board of Regents has chosen to sue to block HB102 because they think their authority is so absolute that they can deny a student’s constitutionally protected rights.” The overwhelming majority of people who commented on the board’s plan to implement the new law asked the board to instead file a lawsuit to seek a ruling on whether the Legislature overstepped the regents’ authority to manage the campuses. Opponents were also concerned about a precedent being set that would allow the Legislature to interfere with campus management. Montana’s Constitution states that the regents have […]

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