Tomorrow, Senate Bill 143 is scheduled for second reading in the Montana Senate. Sponsored by Senator Cary Smith (R-27), SB 143 would prohibit restrictions on firearms on university property, though the Board of Regents would retain regulatory authority on things such as discharge, unholstered carry, dormitory storage, and possession at campus events where alcohol is served and consumed. Interestingly, a major newspaper in Nevada recently endorsed and strongly recommended passage of a similar measure filed in that state’s legislature. From the editorial, entitled: “Law-abiding citizens shouldn’t be defenseless on college campuses”:
“Bad guys don’t obey gun laws, on college campuses and elsewhere. Lawmakers who oppose campus carry proposals must acknowledge that gun-free zones essentially create defenseless target zones. Considering the president of the United States and college administrators claim there is a sexual assault crisis on college campuses, why would lawmakers deny women the ability to defend themselves?” - Las Vegas Review Journal
To read the editorial in its entirety, click here.
Gun-free zones do not prevent those individuals intent on committing crimes from doing so; however, they do prevent law-abiding citizens from utilizing their fundamental right to self-defense.
It is important that members contact their Senator and politely encourage him or her to SUPPORT Senate Bill 143 when it comes up for a vote tomorrow. Contact information for your Senator can be found here. If you need help locating who your Senator is, please click here. All legislators may be reached using this online form or by calling (406) 444-4800.