Regents vote unanimously to continue authorizing weapons on campus


The Montana Board of Regents, the designated body that provides governance and administration for the Montana university system, voted unanimously on Wednesday to seek judicial review of HB 102 which allows students to carry guns on the campus.

At their ZOOM meeting, board chairman Casey Lozar noted the amount of public comment opposing the legislature’s takeover on matters relating to university policy.

“It is clear from the volume of feedback we have received that this is an extremely important issue for our citizens,” Lozar said. “It is also clear that a very large number of people who have become involved with this body have concerns about the preservation of the constitutional authority of our council, and I think each of you has also underlined this concern.”

Brian Syko, an instructor at MSU Great Falls spoke in favor of the legislature because it stressed the importance of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, that the right to bear arms “must not be infringed”.

“But strictly speaking about the preservation of academic freedom and academic control over the constitutional rights of citizens, I think there is overbreadth, and there is one area in which the state legislature must also protect these freedoms and rights. like the health and safety of its students and citizens, ”said Syko.

One of the members of the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention, Mae Nan Ellingson of Missoula supported the council’s decision.

“It’s not easy to challenge the legislature because they clearly control the purse strings,” Ellengson said. They apparently used this power to prevent you from challenging HB 102. They also sought your approval of this takeover by granting you the right to impose regulations implementing Bill 102 on campus. It is not for the legislature to give. “

President Lozar concluded with this statement.

“The council truly appreciates and respects the legislative process and will continue to work in good faith with our legislative partners,” he said. “At the same time, I believe it is our right, if not our obligation, for us to seek this judicial review of the Bill from House Two to honor the constitutional balance that is affirmed in the Constitution of Montana and the United States. powers vested in the Board of Regents. “

Here is the closing statement of the Council of Regents after their meeting:

“The Council recognizes that members of our communities have many different perspectives and, in particular, on whether firearms should be allowed on campus. It was these comments from Montanans that helped inform the Commission’s decision to pursue this judicial review. We look forward to a resolution of this issue and will continue to focus on the safety of students, faculty and staff, as well as all who visit our campuses.

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