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Montana Supreme Court Denies Requests To Consider Campus Concealed Carry, Other New Laws

A close up photo of a Glock 19 pistol tucked into Chance Kind's jeans.
Kevin Trevellyan
Yellowstone Public Radio
Montana State University senior Chance Kind shows where he carries a concealed Glock 19 pistol on Feb. 20, 2021.

The Montana Supreme Court has denied requests to consider the legality of four laws impacting public universities, including one that would allow concealed carry of firearms on campuses.

Justices ruled the petitions from the Montana University System Board of Regents and Montana Federation of Public Employees weren’t urgent enough to warrant immediate consideration from the high court before a lower court weighs in.

MFPE President Amanda Curtis says the union will file a new challenge in district court as soon as possible.

“The news today doesn’t really change MFPE’s course. We’ll continue to do what we’ve always done, and instead of defending the constitution at the Supreme Court, we’ll defend the constitution first at the district court because that’s where they’ve told us to take it,” Curtis says.

Along with the campus concealed carry law, the union sued over new laws involving student political groups, campus free speech and a ban on transgender women competing in interscholastic sports.

Government Relations and Public Affairs Director Helen Thigpen says the university system plans to refile its separate challenge to the campus concealed carry law in district court and ask for it to be blocked before the policy takes effect June 1.

Kevin Trevellyan is Yellowstone Public Radio's Report for America statehouse reporter.