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The Montana House Judiciary Committee narrowly approved a measure allowing concealed carry permit holders to carry a firearm on state university campuses. The bill now heads to the House floor for a vote.

According to the Missoulian, Senate Bill 143 — which was approved Wednesday by a vote of 11-10 — originally called for both concealed carry and open carry on campuses, but was later amended by the committee to only include concealed carry.

Montana state law stipulates that a concealed carry permit holder be 18 years or older, have a photo ID card, pass a hunter safety course and have no criminal record.

The bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Cary Smith, R-Billings, told the committee that allowing campus carry was vital due to the recent school shootings that have occurred over the past several months.

“When you have the ability to stop one of these mass murders quickly, you have the ability to stop the carnage,” Billings said Tuesday.

Campus carry isn’t the only piece of pro-gun legislation on the agenda in Montana. As previously reported, House Bill 298 — the so-called “constitutional carry” measure which passed in the House last month by a margin of 56-43 — was also just approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now heading to the Senate floor for a vote.

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