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In the war for control of Montana’s universities between the Legislature and the Board of Regents, a lawsuit over guns is the first battle

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Lawsuits were filed. Legal documentation has been submitted. Now, all eyes turn to the district court in Helena for a legal battle that may be a step closer to determining a winner in the tug-of-war between the Board of Regents and the Montana Legislature over control of the state’s universities.

The flashpoint: House Bill 102, which expanded Montanans’ legal right to carry firearms, open or concealed, after Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed it into law in February 2021. The law also seeks to allow students to carry guns on college campuses, making it one of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation.

In May, the Board of Regents, Montana University System’s ruling authority, sued the state, alleging HB 102 was an unconstitutional breach of power and that the Legislature overstepped its bounds.

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