Montana Colleges Scramble To Adjust To Constitutional Carry

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The state of Montana became the newest constitutional carry state, and good for them. If only a certain other state that considers itself pro-gun would get a move on and pass constitutional carry, too. (Squints at Georgia.)


Anyway, with Montana’s passage of the new law, things should be pretty simple. However, it seems that colleges and universities in the state are looking at what they should do from here.

The implications of Montana’s new constitutional-carry gun law will take some time to settle out on the state’s college campuses.

“There are two things we know,” Montana University System Deputy Commissioner Kevin McRae said on Friday. “First, the Board of Regents’ May meeting will have a lot of decisions to make regarding firearms policy. And second, the regents and the U system will stay committed to keeping our campuses safe places for students and staff and the public to teach and learn and grow and thrive.”

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed House Bill 102 on Thursday, which allows law-abiding gun owners to carry concealed firearms for self-protection without written authorization from the government. The law takes away the ability of local governments to restrict open or concealed carrying of firearms except in places like government offices or other secure areas. It gives private property owners the ability to prohibit carrying guns on their grounds.

And it requires the Montana University System to drop its restrictions on campus carry by June 1.

McRae said the regents and Commissioner of Higher Education staff are researching how best to adapt to the new law. There are no current plans to attempt to block it.

I’m going to help the regents out here. Here’s how you best adapt to the new law. You don’t.


You don’t create a bunch of stupid policies and try to somehow circumvent rules that get around the bar on restrictions. You simply recognize that the law itself bars people from misusing a firearm they happen to be carrying and have campus or local police arrest anyone who does so.

That’s it. That’s the plan.

See, people who lawfully carry a firearm aren’t the people you have to worry about. They never have been. Those who you do need to worry about have been carrying the whole time.

Further, most of them don’t go to college. A few do, sure, but most are too busy being problems on the streets to be a problem on college campuses.

The state of Montana, acting as the will of the people of that state, has passed this law and in it, has kept the colleges from considering themselves exempt from the laws of the state. There’s no room for “adapting” to anything. You either comply with the law or you find a new job and/or state to live in. That’s just how it works.

I’m damn glad to see the state take such an expansive approach to the issue, not just passing constitutional carry itself, but stopping the schools from pretending rights stop existing the moment you step on campus.

Good for them.

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