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Judge Extends Order Blocking New Campus Carry Law in Montana

Judge Extends Order Blocking New Campus Carry Law in Montana

“Attorneys for the regents asked McMahon to extend the restraining order while the case is heard”

The order was first given last week. The board of regents is scrambling to find a way to fight the law.

The Flathead Beacon reports:

Judge Extends Order That Blocks Campus Carry Law

A state judge on Monday granted a request by the Montana Board of Regents to extend a temporary restraining order that blocked a new campus carry law from taking effect.

District Court Judge Mike McMahon on May 28 temporarily blocked the law that would have allowed students and staff to carry firearms on public college campuses. The law was to take effect on June 1.

Attorneys for the regents asked McMahon to extend the restraining order while the case is heard, the Montana State News Bureau reported. McMahon heard the request Monday morning and granted it in the afternoon.

The Montana university system has a long-established policy about the use, storage and access of firearms on campus, said Martha Sheehy, an attorney for the Board of Regents and a former regent. The new law interferes with that policy.

The Montana Constitution gives the Board of Regents the power, responsibility and authority to supervise, coordinate and control the university system, she said.

David Dewhirst, state solicitor with the Attorney General’s Office, said the Board of Regents had been involved in negotiations of House Bill 102, which includes the campus carry provision, and only filed a lawsuit after hearing public opposition to the new law.


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Carey Allison | June 9, 2021 at 12:38 pm

The state legislature may be blocked by the court from “imposing a policy” on the university. I’ll bet they can’t be blocked from imposing a painful cut to university funding as a way of showing the university who is holding the reins, unless the judge thinks control of the state budget hides somewhere under his robes, too. (And that would make for an interesting constitutional set-to.)

    Louis K. Bonham in reply to Carey Allison. | June 9, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Exactly. Take a page from the Idaho legislature, and deliver some targeted cuts that escalate the longer the regents want to play games.

    A few years ago, a couple of radical UT professors issued a manifesto proclaiming that they would disobey the new Texas Campus Carry law and purport to forbid students from carrying in “their” classes. This got picked up by The Truth About Guns blog, which asked me (as a UT alumnus and federal court trial attorney) for comment, and my response included a “modest proposal” that the legislature pass a bill cutting by 10% the budget of any UT department that failed to discipline its faculty who refused to obey the law. Some readers thought this was too little, but a couple of sympathetic faculty remarked that “if the Legislature cut a department’s budget by 5%, people would be burning buildings for the insurance money!”

    While more than a bit hyperbolic, it makes the point. It’s all well and good for those in the ivory towers to virtue signal and pat themselves on the back for how superior they are to the unwashed masses. But cut their budgets so that — horrors! — some of them might have to get a real job, and the economic value of virtue signaling like this quickly approaches zero.

    Indeed, the two keyboard commandos at UT quickly went silent (more likely, were told to sit down and shut up by the administration), and their brave posturing and threats ultimately came to nothing.

Isn’t an injunction only supposed to be given if there’s risk of severe harm or if the suit has some likelihood of success? Neither of those is even remotely likely in this case. Sounds like someone needs to be removed from the bench for activism.