Gun fired at MSU prompts review of campus gun policy


BOZEMAN, Mont. - Campus police told NBC Montana the discharge of a shotgun on MSU's campus Tuesday evening was an accident and that no one was injured. However, the incident rattled some students.

Robert Putzski, the chief of MSU police, said it was a student returning from a hunting trip who accidentally set off his hunting shotgun.

Montana State University has a strict weapons policy, but shotguns and rifles are allowed under some circumstances.

"For us, it comes down to a safety issue, do we want them to have unrestricted access to that firearm in their room? " Putzke said.

The university allows unloaded shotguns and rifles to be stored in secure locations in the dorms, but students must check the firearms in and out. They are not allowed be stored in a room.

NBC Montana asked students what they thought of the campus gun policy.

"It's always a worry you might run into someone with a weapon, but I feel very safe with our police force being so easily and quickly accessible via emergency phones,"said Kayli Hons.

Another student told NBC Montana she felt the campus was safe and the policies set in place are fine. "Gun safety and education here is really good and I don't feel threatened at all."

Putzke said there are eight residential halls on campus and five of them do have storage units where students can check in their rifles and shotguns.  He said residential officials are trained to unload these guns if they have to.

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