Montana University Releases Draft of New Firearm Policy

The recently released draft outlines details of the school’s firearm policy to be implemented throughout campus on June 1.

Montana University Releases Draft of New Firearm Policy

Under a new firearm policy, some students in the Montana University school system could be openly carrying guns as early as June 1. Those individuals on campus will need to have a concealed weapons permit to do so, reports the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

House Bill 102, which was passed earlier this year, allows people in Montana to carry concealed guns without a permit. It also limits how colleges campuses can regulate firearm possession on campus and campus housing and set a date of June 1 for college administrators to develop specific policies. The Montana University System is moving ahead with its plan.

The draft firearm policy, which will goes under review by the Board of Regent May 26-27, allows anyone 18 and older and with a concealed carry permit to possess a firearm on campus and in campus housing. However, firearms cannot be carried into buildings where classes are being taught but are permissible outside of those buildings.

“This is the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education policy recommendations that we think work best based on best practices in other states,” said Helen Thigpen, deputy legal counsel for the Montana University System.

The draft policy places other restrictions on where firearms can be carried, such as events on campus where alcohol is served, events open to the public and other facilities.

Specific requirements per the policy also give each campus president the authority to designate a specific certification process. Additionally, a valid concealed weapons permit is required, or one of five different alternative certifications.

The draft also allows any university to deny certification to “a person who has a history of adjudicated university system discipline arising out of the individual’s interpersonal violence or substance abuse.”

“Implementing a policy does not concede the legality of HB 102 and the Board has many options it can consider in regards to the legislation,” said Thigpen.

The Montana University System is accepting written feedback from citizens which it will consider prior to the Board of Regents review.

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