(for immediate release - September 9, 2015)
Improved Initiative Relaunched to
Enable Teachers to Protect Children
WHITEFISH, MONT. - An initiative to empower qualified school
teachers to be discretely armed to be able to protect themselves and
students has been approved the Montana Secretary of State, as
submitted by Whitefish high school student Chet Billi. This
initiative, I-175, is now ready for collection of the 24,175
signatures of registered voters required under Montana law to place
the measure on the November, 2016, General Election ballot.
Sponsor Billi commented, "I-175 is just common sense. It is
entirely consistent with Montana culture. It is needed to
insure that Montana children remain safe."
The final language of the proposed initiative, and a petition page
for collection of signatures, is posted at the link above.
This measure, if successful, will enable full-time school district
employees who have taken the required training and have been
approved by the local sheriff to receive a Montana concealed weapon
permit, to possess a concealed firearm at school. It does not
require employees to be armed, but exempts qualified employees from
current prohibitions in state law. It also requires any
participating employee to maintain the security of a firearm and to
keep it genuinely concealed.
About the concept, Billi said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy
with a gun is a good guy with a gun. That's why we arm our
police. However, it takes time for the police to arrive, time
that could be fatal for children. It makes sense to arm the
staff, who are at the school all day, every day. This will provide a
means of security without additional cost to the school district."
I-175 has received review by the attorneys for the
Legislature. I-175 was also referd to the Attorney General for
consideration of the proposed ballot statements, statement of
purpose and implication, and possible fiscal note (none
required). Now that this process is completed and finally
approved by the Secretary of State, the initiative is available for
collection of signatures to qualify it for the ballot. If the
signatures of 24,175 registered voters are collected, the initiative
will move forward to the 2016 General Election ballot.
Sponsor Chet Billi is actively seeking Montana citizens who wish to
help collect the signatures needed to put I-175 on the ballot.
Anyone who can help should contact Chet.
- 30 -
Information: Chet Billi, (406)-250-1290 or chetbilli12 AT
gmail DOT com