House Bill 567 would establish a school marshal program in Montana, which would allow teachers to become a school resource officer. This would allow teachers or employees to be able to carry a gun after they complete the training and certification requirements by the Montana public safety officer standard and training council.
This bill is designed for school districts to work with the academy on specific training requirements that would work best for their districts. Representative Skees, the bill sponsor, says there are a lot of rural schools throughout the state that do not have a school resource officer so this bill will empower teachers to take care of themselves.
“In the legislature we constantly argue. The Republicans want to give teachers the concealed carry law, the Democrats don’t want to put guns in schools that’s the argument. So, the best way is to allow these schools to do it themselves. Now it doesn’t just allow a teacher to walk around with a gun it has to be a trained officer,” said Skees a Republican from Kalispell.
Representative Skees says he modeled this bill after Texas’s school marshal program and says this is a may not shall bill, meaning school districts cannot require a teacher or employee to become a school resource officer.
This bill has passed the House and has been endorsed by the Montana and Rural School Board Associations. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear this bill at 9 a.m. Thursday morning.