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Guns in schools bill rejected in Montana House of Representatives

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 10:36
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A bill that would have allowed lawful gun owners to carry concealed guns in schools has been rejected in the Montana House of Representatives.

KXLF reports House Bill 385 was rejected on a 44-56 vote, with 15 Republicans and all 41 House Democrats voting against the measure. The bill is now dead for the remainder of the legislative session.

“To have guns in the schools is asking for trouble,” said Democrat Rep. Rae Peppers. “A lot of times, if we do not have the regular teacher in the classroom … we might have to bring in extra staff. Do we know what’s running through their minds? We don’t. So anything could happen.

“I do not want to send my kids to a school where I know someone may have a concealed weapon,” she said.

Supporters of the bill argued allowing school employees to carry concealed weapons would have made schools safer, as employees would then be able to protect students if an active shooter situation should occur.

“Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens stop criminals from killing people,” said Republican Rep. Derek Skees. “It’s that simple. That’s what this bill is about. It’s not about crazy people owning guns.”

Opponents also noted that a majority of calls and letters from constituents had urged lawmakers to vote against the measure.

“The math is clear,” said Democrat Rep. Moffie Funk. “Our constituents, the people who sent us here, don’t want this.”

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