Wednesday, May 7, 2014

UPDATE: Two Men Seen Carrying Rifle on Montana State University Campus Still at Large, Lockdown Lifted

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 3:57 PM

UPDATE 4:00 p.m.:

A campus lockdown at Montana State University that began when two men were spotted on campus with a rifle has been lifted, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

The two men were sighted at about 8:20 a.m., and an alert was sent to students and faculty at approximately 9 a.m. A campus-wide search by police turned up no suspects, and a traffic stop of a vehicle with passengers matching the descriptions of the suspects turned up no evidence. The lockdown ended at about 10 a.m.

MSU spokesman Tracy Ellig said the university hopes to alert campus more quickly in the future.

"Always, always there will be a desire for these alerts to go out more quickly," Ellig said.

ORIGINAL POST 11:26 a.m.:

Two men seen carrying a rifle on the campus of Montana State University this morning have the campus on high alert, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports.

Montana State University Police received a report at 9 a.m. that two men, one wearing an orange hunter's hoodie, the other wearing a green or gray jacket and a baseball hat, carried a black rifle onto the MSU campus heading toward an arch near the Centennial Mall.

Officers are searching buildings and have advised students, faculty and staff on campus to stay inside and lock their doors. 

Currently, firearms are allowed on the Montana State campus, though under the conditions that the firearms be used for hunting or sporting purposes, that guns be locked in designated storage areas—they're not allowed in residence halls—and that they never appear on campus or in academic and common areas. In 2013, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed a bill that would have allowed guns on all Montana's public college and university campuses.

In 2014, the Idaho Legislature passed legislation, later signed into law by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, that allowed weapons onto Idaho's public college and university campuses, provided the carrier held an enhanced concealed carry weapons permit or was a retired police officer. The so-called "guns on campus" bill was opposed by university presidents, law enforcement officers responsible for campus security, and many students and faculty.  Its passage may mean dramatic security changes at Idaho colleges and universities.

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