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Groups Line Up To Weigh In On The Subject Of Carrying Guns On Montana Campuses


Montana Supreme Court accepts lots of comment on controversial legislation

—Keila Szpaller, deputy editor Daily Montanan

APRIL 5, 2022

From the looks of it, the Montana Supreme Court has a lot of friends.

That’s one conclusion to be drawn from the stacks of paper submitted as “friends of the court” briefs in a lawsuit regarding House Bill 102, which expanded the right to carry firearms in Montana, including on public campuses. Late last year, a district court found parts of the law unconstitutional because Montana vests control of public universities with the Board of Regents.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen appealed the outcome on behalf of the State of Montana.

“The district court’s ruling effectively transforms the Board (of Regents) into a fourth branch of Montana government – a branch possessed of both legislative and executive powers,” said Knudsen in the appeal. “But it gets worse. According to the district court, this new, fourth branch need submit to public policy of the State only to the extent the Board agrees with those policy judgments.”

Since then, a long list of other parties have formally submitted briefs, including Daniels County, students and employees of the Montana University System, Republican lawmakers, and, jointly from outside Montana, the Second Amendment Foundation, Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, and Madison Society Foundation.

“As a neighboring state, Montana’s gun policies might influence policies in Idaho, therefore ISAA and its members seek to monitor ...