At a ceremony in Helena on Thursday, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, flanked by several members of the state legislature, signed House Bill 102, nicknamed ‘the campus carry’ bill.

Gianforte began by emphasizing his commitment to the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms, and what he sees as an alarming trend in Washington, D.C.

“Unfortunately, we've seen an anti gun agenda taking hold in Washington with the new administration,” said Gianforte. “Within the last week, President Biden has called on Congress to pass anti gun laws that undermine the rights of law abiding citizens, including mandating universal background checks and banning semi automatic weapons. Let's be clear. The gun control policies coming out of the new administration with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer target law abiding gun owners and fail to keep guns out of criminals’ hands.”

Gianforte stated clearly his disdain for many federal gun control measures.

“Criminals don't care about background checks,” he said. “Criminals don't care about gun bans. Criminals don't care about limits on magazine capacity. Criminals don't care about safe zones or gun free zones. Gun control measures don't prevent criminals from perpetuating violence or crime. Gun control measures step on the rights of law abiding citizens and our Second Amendment is very clear. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The bill’s author and sponsor, Representative Seth Berglee echoed Gianforte’s sentiments.

“Montanans have a long history of being independent, self sufficient and providing for their own defense,” said Berglee. “The idea of self defense has been a pillar in our society since even before the founding of our country. It's a right that's given by God and granted in the Constitution. It's my pleasure to bring House Bill 102 recognizing that the citizens of Montana have the ability to defend themselves and I trust them with that responsibility.”

Berglee outlined some of the components of HB 102.

“House Bill 102 does several things,” he said. “It allows for people to carry concealed firearms with the same amount of training in the same areas where they can already carry open carry, and it erases the invisible line around our colleges and allows adults to include veterans that have served overseas to carry on college campuses.”

In a recent interview with State Senator Ellie Boldman, she told KGVO News that she expects the Montana Board of Regents to appeal to the Montana Supreme Court to overturn HB 102, citing the dangers of allowing firearms on college campuses and in dorms.

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