Dem Dominated Board of Regents to Block Gun Rights in Montana
Thanks to the newly elected governor, huge GOP majorities in the state legislature, and the hard work of groups like the Montana Shooting Sports Association, we've seen some major victories here in Montana when it comes to our gun rights. One of the biggest victories, of course, was HB 102 by Rep Seth. Berglee (R-Joliet), the bill that is described as permitless carry. Some may even refer to it as "constitutional carry."
The gun-rights bills have the support of the legislature and the governor, but now Democrats are seeking to block those gun rights victories through their liberal buddies on the Democrat-dominated Board of Regents and through the liberal majority on the Montana Supreme Court.
Gary Marbut with the Montana Shooting Sports Association tells us that the Montana Board of Regents, which oversees the Montana University System, is now pursuing litigation in order to block the right to carry on college campuses.
Gary Marbut: Expect the BoR lawsuit to request a temporary injunction against HB 102, holding it in abeyance while the lawyers duke it out in court, a process that could take months or years. Expect the courts (out of "an abundance of caution" don't you know) to grant that injunction. Meanwhile, MSSA is gearing up its legal team.
Rep Berglee, the bill sponsor of HB 102, also responded to the news:
Rep. Berglee: It’s unfortunate that the Board of Regents has chosen to sue to block HB 102 because they think their authority is so absolute that they can deny a student’s constitutionally-protected rights.
The majority of students live off campus and comport themselves responsibly with firearms. Montanans’ constitutional rights don’t end when they step onto a college campus. The safety of students and faculty depends on responsible people being able to defend themselves and those around them. It’s disappointing that the Board of Regents is suing to protect its own power instead of working to protect student safety.
Berglee also called out the higher education system for negotiating in bad faith when he worked with them during the legislative session to craft this law. Now they're suing instead of working to implement the bill he worked with them on. Berglee added, "I think this will, unfortunately, have a chilling effect on their relationship with the Legislature in the future.”