Montana Senate Committee Hears Gun Bills on Universities, Concealed Carry

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Montana lawmakers behind two pro-gun measures said Monday that restrictions on carrying concealed weapons in cities and on university campuses violate Second Amendment rights.

House Bill 240 would curb the Montana Board of Regents’ authority to restrict firearms on college campuses.

It followed two other pro-gun measures on Monday including House Bill 304, which would allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit in cities.

All three measures are expected to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

Supporters of House Bill 240, including several university students, cited safety concerns in their support of the bill and called for an end to what they characterized as the Board of Regents’ overreaching authority in regards to gun control.

“Every time we have had one of these tragedies, the shooting stops ... when a good guy shows up with a gun,” Rep. Cary Smith, R-Billings, told the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee.

But opponents argued college students tend to be in a more transformative and stressful stage of life – and that adding guns to the mix would create a more violent environment.

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