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Proposed bill would allow students to keep firearms in locked vehicles on campus

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Feb 09 2013 03:54:41 PM MST
Updated On: Feb 09 2013 07:59:26 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

A bill in the house would allow students to leave guns locked in cars at their schools.

According to Representative Jerry O'Neil, the measure is meant to protect students from being expelled if they accidentally leave hunting rifles in their cars or trucks.
     
You may remember, a situation like that happened in Columbia Falls back in 2010.
     
The 16-year-old girl left her rifle in her car after a family hunting trip and was disciplined when she told school officials.
     
O'Neil says the law would still comply with the federal Gun Free Schools Act.
     
We wanted to know what students think of the bill so, we stopped at MSU's campus, Saturday.

Some students told us they were against it.
     
We talked to one Montana native who didn't want to appear on camera but told us she was worried, if students were allowed to keep their guns in their cars or trucks, firearms might fall into the wrong hands, since vehicles are often burglarized.   
     
Yet, we caught up with two incoming freshmen who have a different take.

"I think it's a good idea because I don't think they should have to worry about being expelled, especially in states like Montana where they're going to be hunting often," says high school senior Jared Kimmet.

High school senior and friend Colton Marchwinski has a similar take.

"I'm actually kind of surprised it's not already in effect and I don't have any problem with it.  I don't think they should be carrying it through campus but, if it's in the car and they're hunting, there's no reason they should be expelled," says Marchwinski.
    
There's not been a vote on the bill, yet, but the Montana School Board Association says they oppose the bill, arguing schools are already allowed to make exceptions under current law.