BILLINGS, MONTANA — Right now, no one is allowed to carry a gun onto the property of a K-12 school in Montana. Regardless of whether or not he or she has a permit, that person is not allowed to carry a firearm onto school property. Legislators are looking to change that with House Bill 385.
House Bill 385, according to its wording, would open the door for teachers and administrators to carry concealed firearms onto school property so long as they keep the gun concealed.
The bill is termed the “Montana School Safety Act” and it includes all employees of a school’s district under its definition of who is allowed to carry concealed onto the property. So long as the employee keeps the firearm concealed and physically within his possession, the district cannot negatively evaluate him or punish him for doing so.
Now, the law is just in its initial stages. It will need to be passed through the House and then the Senate before the governor signs it into law… If he signs it into law.
The intention of this bill seems to be to allow school employees to defend themselves and their students from harm should a violent act visit their school.
We have yet to see how these sorts of bills play out in actual law. We know the converse, such as the Sandy Hook shooting, certainly doesn’t work. We know school districts in Ohio and California that have brought in programs to train teachers and administrators to carry concealed in the classroom.
It’s very clear that some action needs to be taken. Simply ignoring school districts and hoping nothing bad happens is not an effective plan. The alternatives include expensive costs such as hiring professional security to patrol and monitor people coming in and out of the school. That has also been implemented in plenty of high schools in urban environments.
The cheapest of those two possibilities — allowing school employees to be legally armed — is the one most often experimented by states looking to keep their costs low and accountability high.
Until this is signed into law, Montana concealed carriers must still abide by the existing law. Carry concealed everyday, everywhere.