May 19, 2021

HELENA – Today, after careful thought and deliberation, the Montana Board of Regents directed the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education to seek judicial review of HB 102, which limits the Board’s authority to restrict firearms on campus. 

Nearly 50 years ago, the framers of Montana’s Constitution established a model for the administration of public higher education that vested the administration of the university system in an independent board of citizen administrators known as the Montana Board of Regents.  As stated in Article X, § 9 of the Constitution, the Board of Regents has the “full power, responsibility, and authority” to manage and control the Montana University System. 

While the Board respects the role of its partners in the Legislature, the Board has determined it must seek clarity through the courts on whether HB 102 encroaches upon the Board’s authority to properly and independently administer the Montana University System.  

The Board recognizes that members of our communities have many diverse viewpoints, and, in particular, on whether firearms should be allowed on campus.  It was this feedback from Montanans that helped inform the Board decision to pursue this judicial review.  We look forward to a resolution of this issue and will continue to focus on ensuring the safety of students, faculty, and staff, and all those who visit our campuses.