Monday, September 20, 2021


The U.S. ramps up expulsion of Haitian migrants from the Texas border, and a new report looks at the economic impact of imposing restrictions on reproductive health.


The U.S. military apologizes for a drone strike that killed 10 Afghan civilians, the Justice for J6 rally in Washington draws few, the CDC says it will help public health departments, and France recalls its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

MT University System Holds Hearing on Concealed Carry on Campuses


Wednesday, May 12, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. -- Montanans have a chance to weigh in on firearms on college campuses at a listening session today.

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a measure in February expanding concealed carry in most public places across the state, including on college campuses.

The Montana Board of Regents will decide this month how to implement the new law, or whether it will challenge it in court.

Grace Benasutti, legislative organizer for Forward Montana, said only police officers, security guards and private security currently are allowed to carry firearms on campuses, but the law would overrule the Board's policy.

"It weakens the Board of Regents' constitutional authority to make their own policies for the university system, and it also sets a really dangerous precedent for power grabs by the Legislature in the future," Benasutti contended.

At House Bill 102's signing, Gianforte said the measure will help Montanans better protect themselves. The Board of Regents online session begins at 3:00 p.m. today. Board members have until June 1 to decide how or if they will implement the new law.

Benasutti argued firearms on campus are dangerous because of Montana's high suicide rate, the third highest in the nation and two-and-a-half times higher than the national average.

She stated the danger is greater on college campuses where stressors and isolation are high.

"It's no secret that this generation experiences enormous gun violence as-is," Benasutti emphasized. "And the perpetuation of this by allowing firearms onto campuses is dangerous and also unfair to people that are just trying to attend school."

Amanda Curtis, president of the Montana Federation of Public Employees, said several bills passed this session infringe on the constitutional authority of the Board of Regents. But she believes House Bill 102 stands alone because of a line item she claims amounts to bribing the Board not to take the measure to court.

"The Legislature appropriated $1 million for the implementation of House Bill 102 on college campuses, but only if the Regents don't litigate the bill," Curtis pointed out.

The Board will hold another meeting starting on May 26.

Disclosure: Forward Montana contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Environment, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)


MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…


LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …

The Nature Conservancy says the U.S. loses nearly 1 million acres of forest lands each year through development and other factors, reducing nature's ability to capture and store carbon dioxide. (Adobe Stock)


DULUTH, Minn. - As Minnesota looks to address the impact of climate change on the region, land managers and policymakers are reminded of the role …

Health and Wellness

By Savanna Strott for Eye on Ohio, The Ohio Center for Journalism Broadcast version by Emily Scott for Ohio News Connection. COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio …

According to the CDC, around 181 million Americans have received COVID-19 vaccinations. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- One in five unvaccinated Kentuckians say they are open to getting the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll from the …

Health and Wellness

HELENA, Mont. - It can be hard for people with disabilities to afford the assistive technology they need to perform daily activities. A program in …

Social Issues

LA CONNER, Wash. - The exhibit of an artist who depicted the lives of farmworkers in northwest Washington has been recognized for its quality…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021