State Senator Ellie Boldman, representing District 45 in Missoula, stated an opinion on the KGVO Facebook page in response to a story about HB 102, that the bill was unconstitutional, and would be appealed to the Montana Supreme Court if signed by Governor Gianforte.

KGVO spoke with Boldman on Wednesday afternoon who said she has seen this bill come and go over the years in which she has served in the state legislature.

“I've been in the Montana Legislature since 2011, and we've seen this bill over quite a few sessions now,” said Boldman, a Democrat. “However, of course, it's the first time we'll see it probably make it through to the Governor's desk because we finally have a Republican governor, but I'm well familiar with the unconstitutional elements of the bill and why it had been vetoed in the past.”

Boldman explained her assertion that the bill is unconstitutional.

“The way that HB 102 is drafted, it raises constitutional questions because Article 10 of the Montana Constitution states that the government and control of our Montana University lies and is invested solely within the Board of Regents, and there's quite a bit of case law surrounding that,” she said. “This bill takes away that vested ability for the Board of Regents to decide what goes on at our universities and on our campuses.”

Hill said allowing university students to have firearms on campus is dangerous.

“This bill would permit young kids to have guns in classrooms, on campus and in their dorm rooms,” she said. “Just besides just defying common sense, it defies our long standing traditions and our constitution in Montana. So, I anticipate that once this makes it to the Governor's desk that will see an immediate challenge to the Montana Supreme Court.”

Boldman said she thinks the Montana Board of Regents will take the law to the state’s highest court to strike it down.

“I would imagine that the Board of Regents themselves or the university system will,” she said. “A large amount of the opposition of the bill, both in prior sessions and also this session came from university students, professors, of course, the folks that actually have to teach our kids, but also with the folks there throughout the university, it had pretty unqualified opposition.”

A copy of the bill as of Wednesday afternoon can be read here.


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