From this story in the Daily Interlake:
A state representative from Columbia Falls will present information Friday on a bill that would allow students to keep hunting rifles in vehicles parked in a school lot. Republican Rep. Jerry O'Neil will discuss House Bill 558 before the House Education Committee Friday afternoon. The bill, which O'Neil is sponsoring, would clarify language in state law regarding firearms on school property Current state law prohibits students from bringing firearms to school. Montana statute is less flexible than the federal law that inspired it; under the federal Gun Free Schools Act, there is an exception for firearms kept in a locked car on school property. No such exemption exists in Montana.
_According to state statute, students who bring guns to school must be expelled for at least a year. School board trustees may modify the expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis. O'Neil's bill eliminates the expulsion requirement, although students may still be expelled. It also provides an exception for firearms that are kept in locked vehicles the entire time they are on school property. Some consider that exception necessary in a state where hunting is common. Students often hunt before or after school -- and occasionally forget their rifles in their vehicles after weekend hunting trips. That happened in December to Demari DeReu, a Columbia Falls High School student who faced an expulsion hearing after inadvertently bringing an unloaded hunting rifle to school. She remembered the rifle when contraband-sniffing dogs arrived on campus. As soon as she remembered, DeReu told school officials about the gun. DeReu was suspended immediately, as per district policy, and had an expulsion hearing before the school board and a crowd of about 150 people. Trustees unanimously voted to reinstate DeReu; she was back in school the next day.